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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Staying Around

skalsad finnagoham

I think for an average fan like me and most you, the fact that Skal still remains in the lottery on most NBA Draft projections is a bit baffling.  In some cases like this, fans are just being selfish when they say a guy should come back to school.  They want to keep the best players for as long as possible.  In Skal’s case though, it is truly confusing what can be seen at this point.  Sure, the NBA often drafts on potential, especially in big guys.  But even those “projects” have some strength that they already bring to the league.  I’m not positive what Skal’s strength is right now.  He’s not physically strong, doesn’t finish around the basket particularly well, hasn’t shown many post moves, and has been abused on defense a bunch.  That’s not to run down the kid but simply point out how confusing it is NBA people would commit millions of dollars to him at this point.

With that said, at this school, if you have a chance at the lottery, GO!  The argument being take the money while you can.  But in some guy’s cases, like Marquis Teague or the Harrisons, there was a risk they wouldn’t get any better.  In Skal’s case, he only has better to get.  Assuming Skal doesn’t make some leap in skill over the next 2.5 months, I just can’t fathom how another year or college wouldn’t benefit him. 

On the other side of the coin, he was a Top 10 player.  And in this country in this time, Top 10 players are pushed as fast as possible to the NBA.  20 years ago, no matter where Skal was ranked in the recruiting rankings, he wouldn’t even be considering the pros.  But would coming back to school actually hurt his chances at being a lottery pick?  Below are lengths of time each of the Top 10 (Rivals) have stayed in college.  Those in green were drafted into the lottery:

2006
1 year: Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Brandan Wright, Thadeous Young, Spencer Hawes, Javaris Crittendon
2 years: Brook Lopez
3 years: Chase Budinger, Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson

2007
1 year: Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo, Kevin Love, Deandre Jordan, Donte Green, JJ Hickson
2 years: Bill Walker
4 years: Kyle Singler

2008
0 years: Brandon Jennings
1 year: BJ Mullens, Jrue Holliday, Demar Derozan, Tyreke Evans
2 years: Al-Farouq Aminu, Greg Monroe, Samardo Samuels, Willie Warren
3 years: Scotty Hopson

2009
1 year: John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, Avery Bradley, Xavier Henry, Keith Gallon
2 years: Jordan Hamilton
3 years: John Henson
4 years: Michael Snaer, Mouphtaou Yarou

2010
1 year: Josh Selby, Enes Kanter, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, Cory Joseph
2 years: Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones
3 years: Reggie Bullock

2011
1 year: Austin Rivers, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Marquis Teague, Quincy Miller
2 years: LeBryan Nash, Khem Birch
3 years: James Macadoo, Deandre Daniels

2012
1 year: Shabazz Muhammad, Nerlens Noel, Steven Adams, Ricardo Ledo, Anthony Bennett
2 years: Kyle Anderson, Isaiah Austin, Marcus Smart, Glenn Robinson III
4 years: Alex Poythress, Kaleb Tarczewski

2013
1 year: Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker, Noah Vonleh
2 years: Andrew Harrison, Chris Walker, Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson
Still in College: Kasey Hill

2014
0 years: Emmanuel Mudiay
1 year: Jahlil Okafor, Stanley Johnson, Cliff Alexander, Karl Towns, Kelly Oubre, Tyus Jones, Rashad Vaughn, Myles Turner, Kevon Looney

OVERALL (out of 90 total players)
0 years: 2 out of 90 (2.2%)
1 year: 54 out of 90 (60.0%)
2 years: 20 out of 90 (22.2%)
3 years: 9 out of 90 (10.0%)
4 years: 5 out of 90 (5.6%)

All total, 56 out of the 90 guys either played overseas or stayed 1 year in college.  Of those 56 players, 37 of them were drafted into the NBA Lottery.  Of the remaining 34 players who stayed 2 or more years in college, 6 of them were drafted into the lottery.  So, Skal faces a tough decision.  History shows us that Top 10 level guys that stay more than 1 year of college don’t end up in the lottery that often.  It has happened but only at an 18% clip.  Those guys who did leave after 1 year made the lottery 66% of the time.

The problem is Skal is clearly not Anthony Davis or Greg Oden.  The real question is can he get himself to a Myles Turner or Noah Vonleh level of play before the end of the year.  If he does, then I would say he should go too.  But if we don’t get a much better Skal in 3 months than we have today, I worry he’ll end up in the 33% of Top 10 guys that bolt and don’t make it to the lottery.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

15 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Staying Around



  1. Luvas
    8:05 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    2012 Will always be remembered as the year Alex went pro after four years.

    2012
    1 year: Shabazz Muhammad, Nerlens Noel, Steven Adams, Ricardo Ledo, Anthony Bennett
    2 years: Kyle Anderson, Isaiah Austin, Marcus Smart, Glenn Robinson III
    4 years: Alex Poythress, Kaleb Tarczewski



    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      8:17 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Alex was ranked in the top 10 coming out of high school in 2012. He will have stayed in college 4 years. The years show which year they came out of high school, not the year drafted.



  2. Sentient Third Eye
    8:10 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    Skal is the poster boy for the kid who should stay in school because the main limitation he has now is his body. In another year or two, natural maturity and time in the gym will put 30 lbs on him and make him a beast.



    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      8:20 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      I agree, he has a lot of potential.Personally, I think he should reach that potential in college rather than the D-league.



    • ukjaybrat
      8:48 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      the problem is that we as college fans agree whole-heartedly. but an NBA GM would rather draft him now and build him into the player they want/need rather than wait a year and him become a player that may not fit into their system. (note: this is very simplistic explanation to explain my point) Maybe he bulks up too much and becomes are dwight howard when they wanted a leaner tim duncan.
      Maybe they want a primary post up player, but he works more on dribbling and shooting (or vice-versa)…

      GMs would rather take a chance on buying clay and sculpting a masterpiece than buying a statue that might not be the right size to fit on the mantle.



    • e56
      1:28 pm January 7, 2016 Permalink

      “GMs would rather take a chance on buying clay and sculpting a masterpiece than buying a statue that might not be the right size to fit on the mantle.”

      Interested to know some names who have been made into “masterpieces.” Not enough of an NBA fan to know.



  3. Sentient Third Eye
    8:43 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    The other problem Skal has is adjusting to the game. Because he didn’t really play for two years, he’s basically adjusting from high school JV to D-1 college. That’s a huge leap. It is naturally taking some time. If it takes 2 or 3 years, what’s wrong with that?



  4. TheDon
    8:45 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    I’m not sure that the logic works here. Most guys stick around because they know they arent lottery picks. So the draft position causes the stay, not the stay causing the draft position.

    Either way, the stats dont really apply to Skal. You can say that players who leave after the first year make it at a 66%.. Looking at Skal, he has a 0% chance.



    • @BallBlog_Chad
      11:01 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      exactly, the guys aren’t necessarily dropping because they stayed, they probably stayed because they weren’t high

      the other thing is that rankings are for high school players turning into college players, but being drafted to play in the NBA is completely different … take a few guys we’re familiar with like Poythress (tweener), Wiltjer (all offense), Malik Newman and Tyler Ulis (undersized) – could name a bunch of guys that were high 4* or 5* status, but don’t translate the same to the NBA



  5. BlueDeuce
    8:49 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    If you can get lottery money after 1 year in college, I’d say you should jump at it, no matter your short falls. The issue is, do you have what it takes to stick around beyond that first contract? The big money in the NBA is getting to the second contract. If you can’t, then I think you should start looking at next year’s draft to see where you might fit in, then your degree plan to see if you are going to need to fall back on it rather than the NBA.

    Of course, going overseas isn’t a bad deal either to do something you love! Guys are making more money today than ever by playing overseas. Now, I wouldn’t play in the Middle East leagues (been there and it’s a crap hole!) but, Europe is more than doable. Heck, play there or Asia and make good money for 10 – 15 years then head back to the states and enjoy life.



  6. ukwildcat1991
    9:12 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    im sorry, but has anyone heard of dwayne wade and rajon rondo? rondo left after two seasons and wade left after 3 and look at them now. i know it was before 2007 but come on. either u have the talent or u dont. if he needs to stay an extra year to showcase his talent then he should do it. everyone makes their own destiny with hard work.



    • ukjaybrat
      9:35 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      Those superstars are relics from a before a time the one and done. Can you stay multiple years and be successful ? Yes. Can it be done in today’s economy? It is unlikely.



  7. rainman
    9:24 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    If Skal is projected ANYWHERE in the lottery he would be CRAZY not to come out this year!
    He may pan out down the road, and he may not, so whhy not take the money and run?

    I think the bigger question is, will Cal play the young man to his strengths, or keep trying
    to force a square peg into a round hole? Skal is a face up player, and shows NO willingness
    to do otherwise! LOW POST PLAYER, I think not!

    Now go ahead and hammer me, I could care less!



    • somerset bill
      10:21 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

      i totally agree. i don’t think skal will ever be an nba center. you can see why cal would force karl into the center spot. but i don’t think skal will ever have the body to not get pushed around down there, regardless of how time he spends in the weight room.



  8. robuk
    11:49 am January 7, 2016 Permalink

    I think Cal is losing it on the recruiting dept. He abviously thought SKAL was legit but he was way off on that!