Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 4/2/12

The deadline for college basketball players to declare for the 2012 NBA Draft is much earlier this year than in previous off-seasons.  If an underclassmen wishes to “test the waters” and not hire an agent, he must make that decision by April 10th.   Under the new NCAA guidelines, players who declare for the draft but have not hired an agent must withdraw by April 10th in order to retain their college eligibility.  After that, players have until April 29th to enter the draft.  At that point, once they are in; there is no turning back.

Here is the latest list of early entries with Meyers Leonard of Illinois deciding to leave school early.  Check out our 2012 NBA Mock Draft and click on the player’s name for an in-depth scouting report.

UPDATED: 4/2/12 11:00 PM


Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina, 6-8, Soph.
’11-’12: 17.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.5 spg, 72.3 FT%, 35.8 3-PT%
Hindsight is always 20/20, but Barnes probably should have turned pro last year since he would have been a likely top three pick.  His stock has taken a hit recently due to his poor play in the NCAA Tournament and as a result, he likely slips to the mid teens but leaving UNC was absolutely the right decision.

Will Barton, SG, Memphis, 6-6, Soph.
’11-’12: 18 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 50.9 FG%, 74.9 FT%, 34.6 3-PT%
Barton is a talented scorer off the bounce but is still rather inconsistent with his outside shot.  He is also rail thin which is the biggest concern in his transition to the next level.  Barton likely is a late first/early second round pick.

J’Covan Brown, G, Texas, 6-1, Jr.
’11-’12: 20.1 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.4 rpg, 41.7 FG%, 86.3 FT%, 36.9 3-PT%
In his a release by the school, Brown mentioned wanting to take care of his daughter as a reason for turning pro so you can’t blame him for that.  However, Brown is really a 6-1 shooting guard right now and will need to learn to play the point to have a career in the NBA.  That is why he likely will be a second round pick but I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes undrafted.

Jared Cunningham, SG, Oregon State, 6-4, Jr.
’11-’12: 17.9 ppg, 2.8 apg, 3.8 rpg, 2.5 spg, 45 FG%, 73.7 FT%, 33.8 3-PT%
Cunningham is testing the waters and will likely return to Corvallis for his senior season since he is nothing more than a second round prospect, if that.  He is athletically gifted but needs to spend another year in college working on his outside shot.

Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s, 6-8, Fr.
’11-’12: 15.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.6 spg, 1.6 bpg, 44.5 FG%, 67.8 FT%, 20.2 3-PT%
I have been on the Harkless bandwagon for most of this past season and think his game will translate really well at the next level.  He has good size, athleticism, and a smooth attacking and mid-range game.  Most people are projecting him in the 15-25 range but I think he will end up being a lottery pick before it is all said and done.

John Henson, PF, North Carolina, 6-10, Jr.
’11-’12: 13.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.9 bpg, 50 FG%, 51.1 FT%
Henson continues to be a long, athletic forward who can block shots but his lack of strength and physicality are concerning in terms of his transition to the next level.  He did show an improved offensive ability this season and can’t be blamed for leaving school since he will likely be selected in the late lottery-early twenties.

Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois, 7-0, Soph.
’11-’12: 13.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 58.4 FG%, 73.2 FT%
It’s no secret that I am not a huge fan of Leonard and think he is way too soft to be making the leap to the NBA.  With that being said, he is a true seven-footer with solid athleticism and plenty of room to grow meaning he will likely be a mid-first round pick.

Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State, 6-3, Jr.
’11-’12: 24.5 ppg, 4 apg, 5 rpg, 46.7 FG%, 88.7 FT%, 40.9 3-PT%
After missing most of last season due to injury, Lillard emerged as one of the most prolific scorers in the country and a possible lottery pick.  He could very easily be the first point guard taken in the 2012 draft.

Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina, 6-4, Soph.
’11-’12: 8.1 ppg, 9.8 apg, 2.6 rpg, 46.7 FG%, 69.6 FT%, 35.4 3-PT%
One of the best, if not the best pure distributor in college basketball; Marshall figures to be one of the first point guards taken in the 2012 NBA Draft which should range from the late-lottery to early twenties.  He is not a big-time scorer by any means but clearly knows how to run an offense and make the players around him better.

C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh, 6-3, Jr.
’11-’12: 21.9 ppg, 3.5 apg, 6.5 rpg, 44.3 FG%, 81.1 FT%, 34.1 3-PT%
McCollum received some invaluable national exposure when he scored 30 points in the Mountain Hawks opening round upset of Duke.  He is an under-sized shooting guard which makes him a second round prospect and is not yet going to sign an agent.  I am not sure returning to school will boost his stock in any way so he might end up staying in the draft.

Fab Melo, C, Syracuse, 7-0, Soph.
’11-’12: 7.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.9 bpg, 56.6 FG%, 63.3 FT%
This decision comes as no surprise since Melo was suspended indefinitely prior to the NCAA Tournament due to academic issues.  The seven-footer showed incredible growth from his freshman to sophomore year but is still rather raw in terms of his all-around ability.  Still, there aren’t many true seven-footers in this draft so Melo will likely be a first round pick.

Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State, 6-11, Jr.
’11-’12: 16.4 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 54.9 FG%, 78 FT%
After transferring from UTEP, Moultrie made the most of his lone season in Starkville.  He is an athletic, versatile big man who can probably play either the four or five at the next level.  Moultrie is a safe bet to be a mid-first round pick at worst and could sneak into the late lottery.

Austin Rivers, SG, Duke, 6-4, Fr.
’11-’12: 15.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.4 spg, 43.3 FG%, 65.8 FT%, 36.5 3-PT%
To be honest, I think Rivers could use another year at Duke.  There is no guarantee of him being a lottery pick this summer while another year in college and he could have been a top-10 pick next year.  Plus, it’s not like his family needs the money or anything.  He likely falls mid-teens/early twenties.

Terrence Ross, SG, Washington, 6-6, Soph.
’11-’12: 16.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.3 spg, 45.7 FG%, 77.4 FT%, 37.1 3-PT%
As many expected, Ross made a significant leap during his sophomore season leading the Huskies in scoring.  He can stroke it from the outside, get to the rim, and has terrific athleticism and length.  Ross could end up being a lottery pick and shouldn’t fall past the late-teens.

Quincy Roberts, SG, Grambling State, 6-5, Jr.
’11-’12: 22.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 40.9 FG%, 80 FT%, 32 3-PT%
The former St. John’s Red Storm two guard posted some monster numbers in the very weak SWAC but will be lucky to hear his name called on draft night.

Victor Rudd, SF, South Florida, 6-7, Soph.
’11-’12: 9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 37.5 FG%, 75.6 FT%, 30.6 3-PT%
I had been targeting Rudd as a potential draft sleeper… for next season though.  The former Arizona State transfer is a terrific athlete but doesn’t possess any other talent that really warrants him leaving school early.  He would maybe be a second round pick.

Renardo Sidney, PF, Mississippi State, 6-10, Jr.
’11-’12: 9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 49.8 FG%, 59.7 FT%, 40.5 3-PT%
The enigmatic, often troubled Sidney is a talented big man but has some huge red flags; most notably his poor attitude and conditioning concerns.  Some team might roll the dice on him as a late second round pick but more than likely Sidney will have to prove himself in the D-League before someone takes a chance on him.

Hollis Thompson, SF, Georgetown, 6-8, Jr.
’11-’12: 12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 46.4 FG%, 67.9 FT%, 43 3-PT%
Since Thompson tested the waters last off-season, he is in the 2012 NBA Draft for good.  He can stroke it from deep and has good size, athleticism, and versatility for a wing player but is a second round prospect with the possibility that he could go undrafted.

Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse, 6-4, Soph.
’11-’12: 12.6 ppg, 2.5 apg, 2.3 rpg, 1.8 spg, 47.6 FG%, 72.9 FT%, 36.3 3-PT%
In case this is your first time reading my work, I need to let you in on a little secret; I have a basketball crush on Dion Waiters.  I think he is going to be a stud at the next level because of his ability to attack the tin combined with a decent outside shot.  He is without question a lottery pick in my mind.

Maalik Wayns, PG, Villanova, 6-2, Jr.
’11-’12: 17.6 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.8 rpg, 41.4 FG%, 89.2 FT%, 29.8 3-PT%
Even though this is considered a fairly weak point guard class, Wayns really doesn’t have a chance of being a first round pick.  Still, he is in the draft for good for which could be a huge mistake.  He is listed as 6-2, but more than likely is barely 6-0 on a good day.  He is a second round prospect who risks the possibility of being undrafted.

Royce White, PF, Iowa State, 6-8, Soph.
’11-’12: 13.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 5 apg, 53.4 FG%, 49.8 FT%
In his lone year with the Cyclones, White proved to be one of the most versatile offensive big men in the country.  Due to his ability to handle and the distribute the basketball, he is a tough match-up when you add that with his combination of size and quickness.  It isn’t shocking that he entered the draft considering this is technically his third year out of high school.  He probably ends up somewhere in the late first/early second round.

B.J Young, PG, Arkansas, 6-3, Fr.
‘11-’12: 15.3 pgg, 2.3 apg, 3.1 rpg, 50.4 FG%, 74.3 FT%, 41.3 3-PT%
Young has entered the draft but not yet hired an agent.  He is a talented scorer but not yet developed as a true point guard.  This is a weak class of point guards so he could be a first round pick based on potential alone though I’d like to see him return to school and improve his stock.


Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas, 6-1, Fr.
’11-’12: 9.6 ppg, 5.2 apg, 3 rpg, 39.1 FG%, 68 FT%, 31.6 3-PT%
Absolutely the right decision for Kabongo.  He has lottery talent but after a lackluster freshman season in Austin, likely would have been a second round pick with a chance of sneaking into the first round.  Returning for his sophomore season and improving his all-around game should do wonders for his draft stock.

Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton, 6-7, Soph.
’11-’12: 22.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 60.1 FG%, 79.6 FT%, 48.6 3-PT%
McDermott blew up during his sophomore season, emerging as one of the most dangerous scorers in the country.  He can stroke it from deep but also is effective with his back to the basket.  Athleticism is his biggest concern in transitioning to the next level but he still would have been a borderline first round pick had he declared for the draft.

Mike Moser, SF, UNLV, 6-8, Soph.
’11-’12: 14 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.9 spg, 45 FG%, 78 FT%, 33.1 3-PT%
In his first year with the Rebels, the former UCLA was one of the impact transfers in the country.  He is long, athletic, and aggressive on the glass.  Moser likely would have been a late-first round pick had he declared, but returning to UNLV and working on his perimeter game should help his stock for next season.

Alex Oriakhi, PF, UConn, 6-9, Jr.
’11-’12: 6.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 49.5 FG%, 56.8 FT%
With UConn banned from competing in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, I figured Oriakhi might bolt for the NBA Draft despite having an extremely disappointing junior season.  Instead, Oriakhi will not head to the league but will be transferring from UConn.  It’s a smart move since he can play right away at his new school and sorely needs to do damage control on his draft stock.

Adonis Thomas, SF, Memphis, 6-6, Fr.
’11-’12: 8.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 48.6 FG%, 70.8 FT%, 40.5 3-PT%
This was pretty much a no-brainer in my opinion since Thomas missed a good chunk of his freshman season due to injury and never got to display his full ability.  With Will Barton leaving for the NBA, Thomas will get to play a much bigger role for Memphis next season which should tremendously help his stock for the 2013 draft.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.


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