banner
Caulton Tudor

Freshmen have scouts excited but NBA drafts often defy projections

Posted November 13, 2013

Amid widespread agreement that current college freshmen will dominate the top of the 2014 NBA draft (June 26, Brooklyn), pro scouts flocked to Chicago’s United Center Tuesday to watch Kentucky face Michigan State and Duke against Kansas.

The popular assumption is that Duke’s Jabari Parker, Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and Kentucky’s Julius Randle will get selected 1-2-3 in some order with Kansas’ Joel Embiid, Michigan State’s Gary Harris and Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison not far behind.

But based on early on-court performances this season, the NBA draft can be just as much guesswork as a foolproof predictor of production.

The No. 1 pick in 2013 – UNLV forward Anthony Bennett – is struggling to make any sort of impact on a 3-5 Cleveland Cavalier team. He’s averaging less than one point even though he’s playing roughly 11 minutes per game.

Meanwhile, the No. 11 pick – Philadelphia 76er playmaker Michael Carter-Williams – is off to a super start, averaging 17.4 points.

As a freshman at Syracuse in 2011-12, Carter-Williams didn’t play a great deal at all, averaged less than three points pr game and was projected by some pundits as a late first-round pick when he declared after his second college season.

The No. 13 pick last June – center Kelly Olynyk of Boston – also put in two seasons of college ball at Gonzaga and averaged a modest 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman. But in his first season with the Celtics, Olynyk is averaging 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds through his first eight games.

If these early patterns hold, the most accurate pick of 2013 will turn out to be guard Victor Oladipo, who was selected No. 2 overall by Orlando after playing three college seasons at Indiana. Through his first eight pro games, Oladipo averaged more than 12 points and already has earned a reputation as a top-rate on-ball defensive player.

WEAK DRAFT, STRONG DRAFT

Throughout the 2012-13 college season, NBA experts from coast to coast sized up the talent pool as one of the weakest in years.

This year the forecast is for the one the most talented drafts in years – a calculation based entirely on the freshman class. Up to 10 college newcomers have been projected as future NBA all-stars.

In reality, most of that conjecture is overwhelmingly based on the players performances against each other in AAU summer camps and to a lesser extent in their play in high school games.

It’s interesting that the 1984 talent pool was predicted to be no better than average for that period but produced No. 3 pick Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins (No. 4), Charles Barkley (5), Hakeem Olajuwon (1) and John Stockton (16).

There was far more anticipation for the 1985 group – Patrick Ewing (1), Wayman Tisdale (2) and Benoit Benjamin (3). Ewing obviously had a very successful pro career but the second best pick turned out to No. 13 Karl Malone.

At the opposite extreme, there was the 1991 class that was projected to be perhaps the best ever at the time. Larry Johnson, Billy Owens, Kenny Anderson, Dale Davis and Dikembe Mutombo were seen as future superstars but no one really delivered to that extent.It’ll be years before the ’13 and ’14 groups can be accurately compared, but a good guess is that the ’13 class will turn out to be better than expected and ’14 draftees will fall short of their lofty expectations.

4 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • mac240 Nov 13, 2:44 p.m.

    Parker has the body, Randle will need to work on a midrange jumper, and Wiggins needs to get stronger!

  • BlueDevils00 Nov 13, 2:44 p.m.

    i almost hate to say this but i hope that parker gets hurt early. it seems that dook players... View More

    — Posted by abcershatemebuttheir wivesluvme1

    UNC class at it's finest, folks.

  • abcershatemebuttheir wivesluvme1 Nov 13, 12:52 p.m.

    i almost hate to say this but i hope that parker gets hurt early. it seems that dook players perform much better in the nba if they are not subjected to kay's poor coaching techniques.

  • Toddler10-21 Nov 13, 12:22 p.m.

    Right now I think it will be ,Parker, Randle, and Wiggins, but the center from Kansas may be the best out of the bunch!!

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at UNC

    Tomorrow at 12:58 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Mississippi State at Ole Miss

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at Baltimore

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: NC State at UNC

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
 
3rd
PIT 2
CAR 3
 
4th
CHA 101
GSW 106
 
2nd
UF 35
UNC 43
 
2nd
TULSA 14
ECU 14
 
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
4th
CHA 101
GSW 106
 
3rd
TOR 56
DAL 69
 
4th
DET 72
MIL 85
 
4th
ATL 72
NOP 62
 
Half
HOU 44
LAC 56
 
Half
OKC 59
NYK 33
 
3rd
IND 49
ORL 45
 
2nd
SAN 46
SAC 40
 
1st
DEN 15
PHO 7
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
2nd
VT 10
UVA 6
 
2nd
TULSA 14
ECU 14
 
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
Final
WASU 76
RICE 74
 
Final
CSFU 64
USCU 79
 
Final
GT 61
RIDE 54
 
Final
TXPA 79
ALAST 91
 
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
 
Final
TCU 57
BRAD 49
 
Final
WAKE 65
DELST 72
 
Final
HART 83
EMERSON 50
 
Final
STJ 66
GONZ 73
 
Final
CLEM 62
HIGH 59
 
Final
SYR 72
HC 48
 
Final
MD 61
MON 56
 
Final
JVST 74
SAV 71
 
Final
MIAMI 87
SALA 75
 
Final
RUTG 68
VANDY 65
 
2nd
PETE 55
TENST 54
 
2nd
MARS 32
CLST 43
 
2nd
JST 38
HOF 49
 
2nd
INDST 36
MEM 48
 
2nd
UF 35
UNC 43
 
2nd
LATU 44
SAMF 35
 
2nd
TULA 60
SELA 49
 
2nd
NEB 54
TENNM 44
 
Half
MISS 31
CREI 37
 
Half
PORT 30
MURST 29
 
1st
MARQ 9
MSU 12
 
1st
ARK 14
UNT 16
 
1st
NCOL 20
STET 11
 
1st
IND 18
UNCG 9
 
1st
SJST 5
WMICH 15
 
1st
MNTST 16
TXARL 8
 
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
3rd
PIT 2
CAR 3
 
3rd
NJD 4
DET 4
 
3rd
BUF 1
MON 1
 
3rd
CLB 0
VAN 3
 
3rd
BOS 1
WIN 1
 
2nd Intermission
FLA 1
OTT 2
 
2nd
STL 1
EDM 1
 
1st Intermission
DAL 0
MIN 2