Fri Jun 24 10:26am EDT
Whereas Georgia Tech's Iman Shumpert and Texas' Cory Joseph made critics look foolish by parlaying controversial decisions to leave school early into first-round picks, a handful of their peers were not so fortunate.
Here's a look at five players who entered the draft early but probably shouldn't have based on Thursday night's results. Illinois freshman Jereme Richmond and Kansas freshman Josh Selby headline the list.
1. Jereme Richmond, G, Illinois
Comment: It was a head-scratching decision when Richmond turned pro and signed with an agent a few months ago. It looks flat-out absurd now that he slid out of the second round and went undrafted. Richmond was a heralded recruit with a promising future at Illinois, but he opted to leave after one forgettable season in which he averaged 7.6 points, nearly transferred at midseason and watched the team's two NCAA tournament games from the bench.
2. Josh Selby, G, Kansas
Comment: If the conventional wisdom is that prospects should leave college when their stock is highest, Selby definitely took the opposite approach. The former No. 1 recruit in the class of 2010 left Kansas after one season despite missing the first half of the year as a result of an NCAA suspension and then averaging just 7.9 points per game in an injury-plagued second half of the year. Not surprisingly, his stock suffered because of it and he fell all the way to Memphis with the 49th pick.
3. Darius Morris, G, Michigan
Comment: Maybe Morris is satisfied going in the second round to his hometown Lakers with the No. 41 pick. Nonetheless, it's still hard to imagine what could have been for him with another year at Michigan. Had Morris stayed for even his junior season with the Wolverines, a deep NCAA tournament run was a strong possibility and it's easy to have envisioned him playing his way into next year's first round — maybe even the lottery.
4. Tyler Honeycutt, F, UCLA
Comment: In a post-draft conference call with reporters on Thursday, a defiant Honeycutt had the gall to declare himself "the most athletic player in this draft." That's obviously hyperbole, yet it's also proof of why his decision to leave UCLA after his sophomore season was so unwise. The 6-foot-8 Honeycutt has all the physical tools to be a successful pro, but he slid to Sacramento at No. 35 because he left school before either putting on the muscle or displaying the consistency teams want from a first-round pick.
5. Jeremy Green, G, Stanford
Comment: Everyone at Stanford expected Green back for his senior season despite his academic suspension for the spring quarter. Instead, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard opted to turn pro and sign with an agent even though he had only a remote chance of being selected since he has yet to prove he can create his own shot off the dribble. Draft day came and went Thursday without Green hearing his name called, meaning it's all but certain he will play overseas. Perhaps he'll take an unlikely path to the NBA, but it seems like it would have been wise to get his Stanford diploma first.
Others who should have stayed in school: Scotty Hopson, G, Tennessee (undrafted); Greg Smith, C, Fresno State (undrafted); Terrence Jennings, C, Louisville (undrafted); Travis Leslie, G, Georgia (second round).