Winners and Losers Deadline NBA Draft 2020 Withdrawal Period: Baylor Remains Strong, Stanford Steps Back
Given the choice between entering the weakest NBA draw in a generation and returning to the most challenging Big Ten Conference season since, well, at least last year, the vast majority of players in that position opted again one year of B1G basketball.
That’s how it went during the college game as the NCAA deadline to withdraw from the 2020 NBA draft approached midnight Monday.
Last weekend was the best in college basketball since that momentous pre-pandemic Saturday, when Kentucky, Southern California, Butler, and Utah State all won late baskets and anticipated a manic March that was less than canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. week later.
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In writing about the winners and losers of the ‘deadline day’ of college basketball, the most obvious mention was on the positive side of the college basketball ledger itself. The Big Ten Conference got Iowa All-American Luka Garza, center Kofi Cockburn and point guard Ayo Dosunmu from Illinois, point guard Marcus Carr from Minnesota and wing Aaron Henry from Michigan State back in four days. That was on top of stretch-4 Isaiah Livers from Michigan, who announced his decision weeks before the deadline.
A year after 43 experienced college players entered the draft as underclass and were not selected during Design Night, the largest number in the game’s history, dozens of tweets and news releases were announced between Friday and Monday announcing that key players were returning to college -game.
So it’s much easier to find the winners in this circumstance, but there are a few on the other side of the ledger.
WINNER: Baylor. What might have been the best season in Bears’ basketball history didn’t get a chance to end it, but it could. Jared Butler and MaCio Teague averaged a total of 29.9 points for a team whose excellence was mainly based on the stifling defense, which ranked number 4 in efficiency. But the offense mattered, number 17, and those two shooters were the main reasons. With the backcourt intact, Baylor will enter the season projected as the No. 1 team in college basketball.
LOSER: Stanford. Freshman Guard Tyrell Terry was an essential ingredient as the Cardinal put together a 20-12 record and 9-9 Pac-12 finish, and there was the potential for so much more in 2020-21, especially with the talented striker Oscar da Silva who would return . Terry isn’t projected much as a first round, but he said he has received enough positive feedback from teams to be confident in his decision.
WINNER: LSU. The Tigers have recovered three double-digit scorers that were on the early entrants list: Forward Trendon Watford and Darius Days and monitor Javonte Smart. Combined, they earned an average of 37.2 points for the 21-10 Tigers, which finished second in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers have lost second forward Emmitt Williams and will miss his ability to protect the rim. They bring in a strong recruitment class. Now those freshmen don’t have to be fully responsible for the program, but only to act as an addition to the strong veterans out there.
LOSER: Creighton. Shooter Ty-Shon Alexander was about to become an All-America first team candidate. ESPN has ranked him as the number 80 prospect in the concept, while others choose him as a second round. He averaged 16.9 points and 39.9 percent 3-point shooting. There is probably still enough for the Bluejays to battle in the Great East, but Alexander could have carried a heavy burden.
WINNER: Richmond. The Spiders had the best quiet season in college basketball last season. They went 24-7 and were on their way to an NCAA Tournament bid as March progressed, and they will be even more impressive this season as guards Jacob Gilyard and Blake Francis and Grant Golden return. They averaged 43.8 points and Gilyard also accounted for 5.7 assists per game.
LOSER: Marquette. The Golden Eagles knew they would lose much of their offense if All-American Markus Howard completed his career. But Brendan Bailey? He scored an average of 7.1 points and 5.2 rebounds as a sophomore last season. He shot 40.6 percent of the field. Is there anything about that screaming “lottery pick” at you? Whatever his ability as a basketball player, Bailey will not have the luxury of producing it. For example, professional basketball does not work in any country. Marquette gets a dynamic backcourt with transfer DJ Carton and fifth-year senior Koby McEwen, but it could have used another year from Bailey.
WINNER: Tennessee. Coach Rick Barnes is building into a new powerhouse season in 2020-21, but it might have been hard to get stuck at the top of a stacked SEC without the big guy Yves Pons. He is not an exceptional scorer, but his ability to monitor the ranks with the best of NCAA basketball.
LOSER: Mississippi State. It was no surprise to see Reggie Perry go after an excellent second season; perhaps it was more that he hung out to deliver it. But also to lose the guard Nick Weatherspoon and wing Robert Woodard is a blow.
WINNER: Arkansas. One of the most dynamic shooters in college basketball, Isaiah Joe was a player who wouldn’t have surprised many if he stayed in the draft. He was considered a marginal choice from the second round, but that was enough to convince many in recent years to leave the university rings behind. Joe scored an average of 16.9 points last year. He was not an efficient shooter, he only reached 34.2 percent from deep, but that was largely because the nature of the team required him to fire when open. He was a 41 percent shooter as a freshman. This should be a team that has more options, giving Joe a chance to show that he can be both accurate and overwhelming. Besides, if he stayed all four years, Joe is in place to crack the Division I top 15 in 3-pointers.
WINNER: Alabama. Maybe John Petty stood out early in his career for his cool haircut, but he’s always noticed me as a winning player. In his freshman year, I saw him score 20 points to beat Virginia Tech in a first round NCAA Tournament game. He was a double-digit scorer in each of his three seasons, averaging 14.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in almost 34 minutes per game last year. That’s a player who misses a team when he’s gone.
WINNER: UCLA. If you haven’t noticed now, the Bruins have traditionally not won many face-offs against the NBA. Since 2009, they’ve had 15 players leave by early entry, with only three lottery picks (Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, and Lonzo Ball) and six falling to the second round or going unsigned. Perhaps the fortunes of the Bruins have changed. Jalen Hill came in after an average of 9 points and 6.9 rebounds, but pulled out in May. Wing Chris Smith waited until the last day, but the Bruins get their top scorer back (13.1 ppg). That means the starting five has been intact since last year’s Pac-12 runner-up.
WINNER and LOSER, BUT MOST WINNER: Gonzaga. The Bulldogs will be the projected No. 1 team for many, even without the American American Filip Petrusev, but it would be unfair to declare in advance that they will be better without him. He scored better than 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds on average and was a huge reason why the Bulldogs hit the 30 win mark for the fourth straight season. But with wing Cory Kispert and dynamic guard Joel Ayayi returning from the design, with a year of experience in their roles – Ayayi could develop into the next Zags star – this could really be a better Gonzaga team.