- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Every year, there are winners and losers in the NBA draft. Some players decided to pull their names out of the draft, opting to return to school. Why not enjoy being BMOC (big man on campus), work on your skills for the future and get your stock to rise for the following year's process.
Other players chase the dream and have delusions of grandeur. They wait for their big moment, and then they hear 60 other names called. Then comes a lot of uncertainty, along with that major empty feeling. They could have gone back to college and improved their game, but instead they are basketball vagabonds, trying to find a job. With a potential lockout impending, this becomes an even more difficult and daunting task.
There is an impressive list of players who chose to go back to school, and several of them could appear on my Solid Gold All-America teams during the summer.
• Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
• Tu Holloway, Xavier
• Terrence Jones, Kentucky
• John Shurna, Northwestern
• Kevin Jones, West Virginia
• Reggie Johnson, Miami-Florida
Gibbs and Holloway will be among the premier guards in college basketball next season. Terrence Jones was expected by many to go in the lottery; he will have a shot to work with one of the best coaches in America in John Calipari and compete for a national championship. Look for big things from Johnson under new Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga.
On the flip side, let's look at six players who should have stayed in school because their eligibility is history, baby:
• Jeremy Green, Stanford
• Scotty Hopson, Tennessee
• Terrence Jennings, Louisville
• Jereme Richmond, Illinois
• Carleton Scott, Notre Dame
• Greg Smith, Fresno State
Jennings was a bit of a mystery when he entered the draft. Wouldn't he have been better off working with Rick Pitino next season?
I remember back in 2007, when Jamont Gordon of Mississippi State left early and entered the draft. He did not get selected, and you have not heard much from him since. Had he returned to Starkville, he could have been an All-SEC performer.
My friends, that is why the NBA draft is a crapshoot now. Some players win by returning to college; others lose because they stay in the draft and get passed over.
Players who withdrew from the draft and stayed in school made wise decisions.