In case Cody Zeller needed a reminder of the risk of delaying NBA riches for at least a year to return to school for his sophomore season, the Indiana center got one on draft night 10 days ago.
Sophomores Perry Jones and Jared Sullinger both tumbled into the late first round after being viewed as potential top-10 picks had they turned pro as freshmen.
So does Zeller have any concerns about his decision to return to Indiana even though he'd likely have been a lottery pick had he declared for the draft? Not so far, he doesn't.
Zeller told CBSSports.com he's pleased with his choice because he has a chance to vie for a national championship and because he's "enjoying college" and "just wasn't ready to grow up." Buttressing his argument, Zeller took part in the filming of "Don't Wanna Be A Millionaire," a music video parodying Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" and celebrating the Indiana star's return to school.
It's always risky for a prospect to not to turn pro when their stock was as high as Zeller's this spring, but it seems likely the gamble will work out better for him than it did for Jones or Sullinger.
Whereas questions about Jones' motor and Sullinger's height and athleticism abounded even last year, scouts rave about Zeller's mobility, passing skills, aggressiveness and back-to-the-basket game. That's why he's a leading contender to be the No. 1 pick in next year's draft along with freshmen Nerlens Noel of Kentucky and Shabazz Muhammed of UCLA.
So while Zeller risked a lot by returning to school, he also has a lot to gain, too. He may not want to be a millionaire now but soon enough, he will be.