To appreciate how little stock NBA franchises sometimes put in a draft prospect's college production, consider this example for a moment.
UCLA's Zack LaVine went in the middle of the first round despite coming off the bench during his lone year of college and scoring 11 total points in his final five games. Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick, a first-team All-American on some ballots, was not selected at all.
Kilpatrick was not alone in his misfortune. Here's a look at the best college players who were not selected in Thursday night's NBA draft.
Sean Kilpatrick, G, Sr., Cincinnati: As the best scoring threat by far on a defensive-minded Cincinnati team, Kilpatrick averaged 20.6 points and battled UConn's Shabazz Napier and Louisville's Russ Smith for league player of the year and All-American honors. His ability to attack the rim would translate well to the NBA, but his jump shot is erratic and his age (24) suggests other prospects have more upside.
Bryce Cotton, G, Sr., Providence: If the NBA draft has taught us anything over the years, it's that there is seldom a place in the league for an undersized scoring guard. Cotton averaged 21.8 points per game and carried an underwhelming Providence team to the NCAA tournament. But concerns about the 6-foot guard's modest athleticism and ability to defend his position or distribute well enough to play point guard outweighed his outside shooting and ability to score via the pick and roll.
Scottie Wilbekin, G, Sr., Florida: The best player on the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament went undrafted because NBA teams have concerns about his size and lack of elite athleticism. Wilbekin averaged 13.1 points and 3.6 assists last season, played smothering on-ball defense and shot nearly 40 percent from behind the arc, but the 6-foot-2 point guard didn't have the upside to entice an NBA team into spending a second-round pick on him.
Melvin Ejim, F, Sr., Iowa State: Even though Ejim averaged 17.8 points per game, earned all-Big 12 honors and led Iowa State to the Sweet 16, this was pretty easy to see coming. He's a 6-foot-6 power forward, undersized for college let alone the NBA. Despite his prodigious outside shooting, concerns about his ability to defend a position were too much to overcome.
DeAndre Kane, G, Sr., Iowa State: Kane enjoyed the best season of his career as a senior transfer at Iowa State, averaging 17.1 points, 5.9 assists and 6.8 rebounds and sinking nearly 40 percent of his threes. That's NBA-level production except that scouts see no upside in Kane because he just turned 25 this month and did all that against 19- and 20-year-olds.
Aaron Craft, G, Sr., Ohio State: Tough, competitive, unselfish and defensive-minded, Craft was a coach's dream for four years in the Big Ten. Why wouldn't NBA teams find a place for him? His lack of scoring is an issue, as is whether his defense would translate against elite athletes.
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