Triangle rosters taking shape for next season
Posted April 16, 2013
Updated April 17, 2013
The annual postseason roster flux began to settle down with the arrival of the NCAA deadline to declare for the NBA Draft, but your favorite college teams aren't in the clear just yet. Players with remaining eligibility still have until the NBA deadline on April 28.
Confused? Thank coaches who weren't interested in spending a month in limbo while their players worked out with prospective franchises and collected professional feedback. Now players can submit their names to the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee for an initial projection of where they could be drafted and must withdraw before April 16 to keep eligibility. If players do nothing, they can still gather information from outside sources and wait until the NBA's point of no return.
Leave it to the NCAA to create a timetable that coincides with the spring recruiting signing period instead of the NBA, which has the actual date that matters.
While Miami waits on Shane Larkin and Creighton's Doug McDermott goes through the process of deciding his future, it appears Triangle-based players didn't need the extra days.
Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie announced their intentions to leave NC State and go pro at the end of March. North Carolina's Reggie Bullock threw his name into the draft pool on Tuesday, while James Michael McAdoo and P.J. Hairston announced they'll return to Chapel Hill.
The decisions by Brown, Leslie and Bullock certainly won't sit well with fans and pundits who insist on assigning a particular set of rules for every player declaring for the draft. These are the people who feel the lack of a first round guarantee automatically makes it a bad choice rather than looking at each case individually.
"He's not ready," they'll say. Whether that trio is or isn't doesn't matter once these decisions aren't examined in a vacuum. Sometimes players are who they are and it's about time they started getting paid to play basketball.
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams provided a glimpse of Bullock's NBA feedback when he stated the "hope is that his decision will work out in a very positive manner." That's far from a ringing endorsement considering Tar Heels who leave with eligibility remaining have an excellent track record of being selected in the first round of the draft. One would have to roll the calendar back to 1996 to find Jeff McInnis as the last player to leave Chapel Hill early and not be selected in the first round.
But what would Bullock get out of another season in Chapel Hill? With his role being largely the same, it's tough to envision a scenario where Bullock truly improves his position in a deeper draft pool beyond where it is today.
New look, new expectations
North Carolina will likely enter the 2013-14 campaign as a favorite to finish near the top of the ACC because they retained most of what made them good in the second half of last season. The Tar Heels avoided a nightmare exodus scenario, but they will obviously miss Bullock's scoring punch and the defensive versatility that allowed Williams to switch to the much-discussed smaller lineup.
Throw in the potential of Andrew Wiggins, who still hasn't selected a school at this point, and the buzz will get louder.
Over in Durham, expectations never really change for Duke. They'll trade out the experience and scoring output of Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly for talented roster of highly touted recruits and seasoned sophomores.
That leaves NC State with the biggest adjustment from last season to next. The Wolfpack won't be picked to win the conference or even show up in a preseason top 25 with T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis as their nucleus of experience.
They'll be joined by freshman point guard Anthony Barber, center BeeJay Anya, forward Kyle Washington, LSU transfer Ralston Turner and junior college guard Desmond Lee.