The winners and losers on NBA draft deadline day

The Dagger
The winners and losers on NBA draft deadline day
The winners and losers on NBA draft deadline day

The deadline for early-entry prospects to withdraw from the NBA draft is only hours away, so the landscape for next year's college basketball season is finally becoming clearer.

Here's a look at which programs were hardest hit by draft declarations and which will begin next season in better-than-expected shape. This post will be updated as the final undecided prospects reveal their decisions. 

EARLY-ENTRY DEADLINE WINNERS:

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1. Oregon
Who left early:
Nobody
Who Stayed:
Dillon Brooks, F, So., Tyler Dorsey, G, Fr., Chris Boucher, F, Jr.
Outlook:
Oregon has consistently exceeded preseason expectations under Dana Altman, but that won't be easy next year. The Ducks will be Pac-12 favorites and preseason top 10 nationally after Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks both withdrew from the draft on Wednesday. Brooks averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season, while Dorsey tallied 13.4 points per game and shot above 40 percent from behind the arc. Their return means that Oregon will have five of its seven leading scorers back from a team that won the Pac-12 and advanced to the Elite Eight. Oregon also adds depth via a recruiting class featuring high-scoring point guard Payton Pritchard, skilled center Michael Cage Jr. and national junior college player of the year Kavell Bigby-Williams.

2. Villanova
Who left early: Nobody
Who Stayed: Josh Hart, G, Jr., Kris Jenkins, F, Jr.
Outlook: Title game hero Kris Jenkins hardly even flirted with leaving for the NBA draft. Potential second-round pick Josh Hart pulled out of the draft on the eve of Wednesday's deadline. As a result, Villanova may be as well positioned to repeat as any reigning champion since Florida won national titles in 2006 and 2007. All but two rotation players are back from the Wildcats team that won the Big East for a third straight season, shed the label of NCAA tournament underachievers and edged North Carolina in a classic title game. Granted the loss of Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu will be significant, but Villanova should still appear most preseason top fives even without them.


3. Duke
Who left early: Brandon Ingram, F, Fr.
Who Stayed: Grayson Allen, G, So.,
Outlook: Why is Duke an early-entry deadline winner despite Brandon Ingram's departure? Because the potential No. 1 overall pick is all the Blue Devils lost. Co-star Grayson Allen returned without testing the waters even though he had a chance to be a first-round pick after averaging 21.6 points and shooting 41.6 percent from the field. His decision makes him a potential first-team All-American next season and bolsters Duke's loaded roster for next season. The Blue Devils are a heavy favorite to earn the title of preseason No. 1 thanks to Allen's return, Amile Jefferson's renewed health and the arrival of a decorated class rated best in the nation.


4. Cal
Who left early: Jaylen Brown, F, Fr.
Who Stayed: Ivan Rabb, F, Fr.
Outlook: Had wing Jaylen Brown, big man Ivan Rabb and point guard Tyrone Wallace all left this spring, it would have been difficult for Cal to avoid entering rebuilding mode next season. The Bears instead retained Rabb for at least one more season, giving them a skilled interior standout around which to build. Rabb, a 6-foot-11 former McDonald's All-American, averaged 12.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his debut season in Berkeley and showed the ability to make an impact at both ends. The impressive freshman likely would have been selected in the first round if he entered the draft and perhaps would have gone in the top 15 or 20.


5. Indiana
Who left early: Troy Williams, F, Jr.
Who Stayed: Thomas Bryant, F, Fr., James Blackmon, G, So., O.G. Anunoby, F, Fr.
Outlook: If you told Tom Crean eight weeks ago that he'd only lose one of the four players above, he'd have probably wrapped you in a bear hug. Thomas Bryant passed on the chance to be a first-round pick this year in hopes of emerging as a lottery pick next year. O.G. Anunoby didn't even flirt with turning pro even though he'd flashed enough raw potential to be a potential second-round flier. And James Blackmon wisely came back as well rather than risking going undrafted this June. The lone underclassman staying in the draft is Troy Williams, an undeniably talented wing who hasn't put it all together yet. Someone may select Williams in the second round because of his physical tools, but his wayward shot selection, frequent turnovers and inconsistency may also land him in the D-League next season.


6. Purdue
Who left early: Nobody
Who Stayed: Caleb Swanigan, F, Fr., Vince Edwards, F, So.
Outlook: While it was no surprise to see wing Vince Edwards return to Purdue, teammate Caleb Swanigan kept everyone guessing right up until deadline day. The 6-foot-8 big man ultimately opted to return to school, perhaps because his stock wasn't where he hoped and perhaps because he recognized a genuine opportunity to boost it by coming back for his sophomore season. Swanigan averaged nearly a double-double during a productive freshman season, but there's concern about how his skill set will translate to the NBA. He isn't tall or athletic enough to play center, nor does he possess the perimeter skills most modern-day power forwards have. Playing alongside 7-footer Isaac Haas next season, Swanigan will have the chance to slim down, log heavy minutes at power forward and work on his passing and outside shooting.


7. Xavier
Who left early: Jalen Reynolds, F, Jr.
Who Stayed: Edmond Sumner, G, Fr., Trevon Bluiett F, So.
Outlook: Any lingering sting from forward Jalen Reynolds' early departure surely dissipated quickly because of all the talent Xavier returns. Promising point guard prospect Edmond Sumner didn't even test the waters and leading scorer Trevon Bluiett explored his stock but chose to return. Having both back gives the Musketeers the potential to meet or exceed their accomplishments from last season when they won 28 games and contended for the Big East title before getting bounced in the round of 32 by Wisconsin. They should be a more perimeter-oriented team next season led by Sumner, Bluiett, veteran combo guard Myles Davis and sharpshooter J.P Macura.


8. North Carolina
Who left early: Nobody
Who Stayed: Justin Jackson, F, So., Kennedy Meeks, C, Jr.
Outlook: North Carolina may not be able to replace the interior scoring of Brice Johnson or the veteran leadership of guard Marcus Paige, but the Tar Heels won't fall far despite the graduation of their two senior leaders. In fact, they should begin the new season in the top 10 in many polls thanks to Justin Jackson and Kennedy Meeks both withdrawing from the draft. Instead of potentially being taken in the second round next month, Jackson chose to return to Chapel Hill to improve the consistency of his outside shot and show he can evolve into North Carolina's next go-to threat. Meeks will likely start alongside Jackson and Isaiah Hicks in what should be one of college basketball's best frontcourts.


9. Wisconsin
Who left early: Nobody
Who Stayed: Nigel Hayes, F, Jr.
Outlook: Although Hayes once had every intention of staying in the draft, his inefficient shooting the past six months forced him to reconsider. He almost certainly would not have been a first-round pick and he might have gone undrafted altogether. Hayes' return solidifies Wisconsin as a preseason top 15 team and a contender for the Big Ten title. The Badgers return Hayes, co-star Bronson Koenig, Big Ten freshman of the year Ethan Happ and virtually every other key player from a team that sputtered to a 9-9 start but rebounded to make the NCAA tournament and advance to the Sweet 16.


10. Arizona
Who left early: Nobody
Who Stayed: Allonzo Trier, G, Fr.
Outlook: Instead of following in the one-and-done footsteps of Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson, Allonzo Trier opted to carve a different path. The high-scoring shooting guard passed on the possibility of being a late first-round pick this season in hopes of taking a leadership role on a formidable 2016-17 Arizona team. Trier will be the centerpiece of a loaded backcourt as deep and talented as any nationally. Also returning are point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, combo guard Kadeem Allen and wing Ray Smith, Arizona's most heralded recruit in the 2015 class before a torn ACL sidelined him all of this past season. The Wildcats also welcome three Rivals top 20 prospects: sharpshooter Terrance Ferguson, slashing wing Rawle Alkins and scoring point guard Kobi Simmons.  


11. Kentucky
Who left early: Jamal Murray, G, Fr., Tyler Ulis, G, So., Skal Labissiere, F, Fr.
Who Stayed: Isaiah Briscoe, G, Fr.
Outlook: Three surefire first-round picks are leaving and Marcus Lee is transferring, yet Kentucky emerges from the draft deadline as more a winner than a loser. The reason is that Isaiah Briscoe chose Wednesday to return to Lexington rather than taking his chances as a borderline second-round pick. Briscoe will give freshman-laden Kentucky a veteran presence in its starting backcourt alongside freshmen Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox. He averaged 9.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a freshman and also emerged as Kentucky's best perimeter defender. Lee's decision to transfer diminishes Kentucky's interior depth, but he wasn't the Wildcats' most important returning power forward. They'll need Derek Willis' outside shooting ability to complement a backcourt that will be better attacking the rim than it will be from the perimeter.


EARLY-ENTRY DEADLINE LOSERS:

1. USC
Who left early:
Julian Jacobs, G, Jr., Nikola Jovanovic, F, Jr.
Who Stayed:
Chimezie Metu, C, Fr.
Outlook:
Andy Enfield is learning the same lesson that Ben Howland and Tim Floyd did before him: It's hard to retain draft prospects in Los Angeles even if they're not NBA-ready. USC is one of the only programs in the country to lose two starters to the draft even though there's a good chance neither of them will be selected. Point guard Julian Jacobs entered the draft and quickly hired an agent while power forward Nikola Jovanovic waited until the morning of the deadline to make his decision. USC can still build around a core of Jordan McLaughlin, Chimezie Metu, Bennie Boatwright and Elijah Stewart, but the Trojans' ceiling is much lower without their second and third leading scorers from last season. A return to the NCAA tournament is still possible. Pac-12 title contention likely isn't.

2. UNLV
Who left early: Stephen Zimmerman, C, Fr., Derrick Jones Jr., G, Fr., Patrick McCaw, G, So., Chris Obekpa, C, Sr.
Who Stayed: No NBA prospects. (Heck, hardly any players at all)
Outlook: Early defections have been an annual issue for UNLV the past few years, but a botched coaching change caused a flurry of departures this spring. The school fired Dave Rice in January, chose not to retain interim coach Todd Simon in March, plucked Chris Beard from Arkansas-Little Rock just before the Final Four and finally settled for Marvin Menzies a few weeks later after Beard bolted for Texas Tech. The result was a long period of uncertainty fraught with transfers and draft declarations. Stephen Zimmerman's was probably inevitable since he has first-round potential. Eligibility concerns might also have played a role in Derrick Jones' otherwise ill-advised decision. But Patrick McCaw almost certainly would have considered coming back under different circumstances and St. John's transfer Chris Obekpa was expected to be the Rebels' starting center next year.  


3. Washington
Who left early: Dejounte Murray, G, Fr., Marquese Chriss, F, Fr.
Who Stayed: No NBA prospects
Outlook: Though Washington last played in the NCAA tournament five years ago, the 2016-17 season appeared likely to be the Huskies' return to national prominence. Heralded point guard prospect Markelle Fultz would join last season's star-studded freshman class to form the nucleus of a team capable of contending in the Pac-12 and ending that NCAA tournament drought. Everything changed for Lorenzo Romar, however, when Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss opted to enter the draft and hire agents. In both cases, it's understandable — Chriss' long-term potential makes him a possible lottery pick and Murray would likely spend a lot of time off ball next season with Fultz arriving — but it's still a massive blow to Washington. Now the Huskies don't have anyone back who averaged more than 7.5 points last season. 


4. West Virginia
Who left early: Devin Williams, F, Jr.
Who Stayed: No NBA prospects
Outlook: West Virginia would have been the clear-cut top challenger to Kansas in the Big 12 had Williams stayed for his senior season. Instead the power forward left school for an uncertain basketball future that will undoubtedly begin either overseas or in the D-League. Williams averaged 13.3 points and 9.5 rebounds last season, but the 6-foot-9 forward's modest length and explosiveness and lack of perimeter skills concern NBA scouts. They fear he can't finish consistently inside against NBA big men, nor are they confident he'll have the same impact on the glass that he had in college. Williams' departure is a blow to a Mountaineers team that already must replace the perimeter scoring of JaySean Paige and the offensive rebounding of Jonathan Holton. West Virginia can still be a top 25 team, but its ceiling is now lower.


5. Texas
Who left early: Isaiah Taylor, G, Jr.
Who Stayed: No NBA prospects
Outlook: The longterm outlook for Texas under Shaka Smart remains promising, but next season's prospects took a hit when Isaiah Taylor entered the draft and signed with an agent last month. The high-scoring combo guard left without waiting to see if he would be invited to the combine and is in jeopardy of going undrafted next month. With Taylor gone and five seniors graduating, Texas is left with a young, unproven roster. Elite freshman Andrew Jones and potential late addition Jarrett Allen are capable of contributing immediately, however, it would be far more ideal for the Longhorns if they could initially serve as understudies to an erstwhile senior leader.


6. Mississippi State
Who left early: Nobody
Who Stayed: Malik Newman, G, Fr.
Outlook: Malik Newman's decision to withdraw from the draft should have been cause for celebration in Starkville except for one small detail. There's reportedly a good chance he may transfer and sit out a year rather than play for the Bulldogs next season. Newman arrived at Mississippi State as one of the nation's most heralded incoming freshman guards, but he wasn't even the best freshman in the Bulldogs' backcourt. He battled injuries, shot 37.9 percent from the field and tallied nearly as many turnovers as assists. Things could get better at Mississippi State for Newman with Ben Howland adding more talent, but it's hard to shake the notion it's not the best fit for him. Either way, this is now a mess for the Bulldogs.


7. Louisville
Who left early: Chinanu Onuaku, F, So.
Who Stayed: Nobody
Outlook: Why is Louisville so low on this list despite losing a borderline first-round pick to the draft on Wednesday? It's not because Chinanu Onuaku isn't an effective player. It's because the Cardinals have an abundance of frontcourt depth behind him to help fill the void. Onuaku wasn't much of a scorer, but he was excellent protecting the rim and gobbling up rebounds in traffic. Without him, Louisville will turn to Mangok Mathiang to anchor their interior defense with Anas Mahmoud and Matz Stockman also receiving playing time at center and Ray Spalding and Jaylen Johnson splitting time at power forward. None of that quintet may match Onuaku's production by himself, but collectively the dropoff shouldn't be too significant.


OTHERS STILL WAITING FOR KEY DECISIONS:

• Maryland (Melo Trimble)

• Valparaiso (Alec Peters)

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

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