Three-Point Play: Calendar crunch, NBA Draft, Dontrez Styles
In today's Three-Point Play, Rivals National Basketball Analyst Corey Evans examines the roster difficulties facing college coaches, assesses the latest two prospects to skip college for the NBA and dives into the Kinston-to-North Carolina pipeline.
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1. ANOTHER DILEMMA ON THE HORIZON
There could be a major dilemma on the horizon for the programs with players that are on the fence in regards to entering the NBA Draft.
Usually around this time and during the early weeks of April, prospects make the decision to enter their names into the NBA Draft. As we all know, this is no ordinary spring. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA's pre-draft process will likely be significantly impacted, making it that much more difficult for players to receive quality feedback on their draft prospects.
The NBA and its governors appear to be doing all they can to salvage the 2019-20 season, even if that means playing games in September. If that ends up happening, and the league sticks with its traditional timeline, the NBA Draft would not occur until after the season concludes. How would that impact the June 15 deadline for early entrants to withdraw their draft declarations? Would that window extend well into July or August?
If so, how is Villanova coach Jay Wright supposed to complete his roster without knowing what Saddiq Bey or Jeremiah Robinson-Earl will do? What about Creighton, which could be a Final Four contender if Ty-Shon Alexander returns? How do any of these programs manage their scholarship count in the meantime? Do they save each scholarship despite the withdrawal deadline being on the cusp of the fall semester starting in August?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Unfortunately for coaches, a lot of this is out of their control as the coronavirus pandemic touches yet another piece of the day-to-day life of a segment of the population.
2. THE VALUE OF COLLEGE
News came down on Wednesday that two prospects would be entering their names in the NBA Draft. Neither decision came as much of a surprise. If Louisville commitment Jayden Scrubb keeps his name in the draft, it would probably lower the Cardinals' ceiling next season. KJ Martin, meanwhile, was never planning on playing in college, but will still be an intriguing draft prospect this summer. They may not be the last to make the move to the NBA this spring.
While college is not for everyone, the two decisions on Wednesday further reflect another reason why Adam Silver has been pushing for the one-and-done rule to be erased. In the end, prospects are going to find ways to the league without college.
Why put up a fight then? We saw it this winter when R.J. Hampton played in the NBL and when Martin chose to attend IMG Academy despite never planning to attend college. In the end, for the elite of the elite, the only reason they attend college is to wait out another year before they can finally enter the NBA Draft.
The NBA is their goal. It is why John Calipari was so far ahead of the times when he took his one-and-done approach from Memphis to Kentucky. He understood what these prospects wanted. Sure, they wouldn’t mind a national title along the way, but it was more about their path to the NBA than anything else. Wednesday just supported that idea even further.
3. ANOTHER KINSTON PRODUCT SET FOR NORTH CAROLINA?
On Monday, the four-star forward received an offer from the Tar Heels. A high-major recruitment is nothing new to Styles, but the North Carolina offer has him intrigued.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that one of the top coaches in the country believes in you,” he said.
However, don’t look for a decision just yet from Styles.
“I am just going to keep things open right now and take some visits soon,” he said.
The 58th rated prospect in the 2021 Rivals150, Styles has yet to take an official visit but has been on campus at North Carolina and NC State. He is also considering Auburn, Clemson, DePaul, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Pitt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
I placed a FutureCast selection for Styles to end up at North Carolina, but I don’t see him committing in the near future. While Clemson and NC State have done the best job in recruiting him up until now, it's rare that an in-state prospect turns down the Heels.