Wednesday, May 2, 2007

ACC underclassmen: Rating their draft prospects

The NBA draft is all about underclassmen.’s current mock draft doesn’t project any seniors in the top 10 and predicts that freshmen Greg Oden, Kevin Durant and Brandan Wright will be the first three picks.

But plenty of underclassmen who have entered this draft ought to preserve their college eligibility by avoiding signing with an agent, and withdrawing from the draft by the May 28 deadline.

Here’s a look at how ACC underclassmen who have announced they’ve entered the draft stack up:

Slam Dunks

Brandan Wright, North Carolina, freshman: Should be a top-five selection because of his 7-foot-5 wingspan and ability to run the court.

Hit Or Miss

Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech, freshman:
Skilled 3-point shooting forward should be a first-round pick, but wasn’t as good as advertised in his freshman year.

Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech, freshman: Likely first-rounder whose stock could rise because at 6-foot-4 he is the tallest point guard in a draft without many top prospects at that position.

Josh McRoberts, Duke, sophomore: Could be drafted in the mid to low first round. That should put him on a good team with established players and allow his complementary ball handling and passing skills to blossom.

Air Balls

Sean Singletary, Virginia, junior:
He’s a fantastic college point guard, but he’s only 5-11. He’s probably a late second-round pick, so going back to school to earn his degree would make sense.

James Mays, Clemson, junior: There aren’t many better defensive forwards in the draft. But Mays isn’t much of a scorer and risks going undrafted. He’s better off returning to school.

- Ken Tysiac