*Love me some alliteration!
Yesterday was the deadline to declare for the NBA Draft. With that, let's criticize - or just offer some opinion - on some silly boys ready to go "all in" on this by hiring an agent.
Devin Ebanks (West Virginia)
It's not that Ebanks isn't a good player, or lacks the potential to play in the NBA, it's just that he's an excellent example of someone who probably needs just one more season to prove he's a pro. Ebanks has the NBA body that gets Jay Bilas sounding slightly bi-sexual, but he doesn't quite fill up the stat sheet enough. With Da'Sean Butler gone, I'd love to see Ebanks be the the number one option on a top-tiered Big East team and see how he handles it. Because he can't head back to Morgantown, let's hope he proves it at the pre-draft camps.
Draft Express lists Ebanks as a late first-round pick, adding: "The impression you get from watching Ebanks largely depends on the game in which you catch him, as his energy level and assertiveness seems to fluctuate drastically for reasons that are still unknown."
Courtney Fortson (Arkansas)
In a press release from BP Sports Management announcing that Fortson had signed with agent Charles Briscoe: "Courtney was one of the most explosive guards in the country this year. His second-half performance against Mississippi State speaks for itself."
That's quite the small sample size.
Fortson played only 18 games this season, shot only 36 percent from the floor, and turned the ball over more than five times a game. Yuck.
An undersized wing, Fortson is the opposite of what an NBA player looks like. Unless you have a premium EuroBasket.com account, expect to never hear from the Razorback guard again.
The 54th best sophomore according to Draft Express, expect the 22-year-old Fortson to "likely go undrafted and head to Europe."
Eniel Polynice (Ole Miss)
Best nugget I got on the former Rebels' shooting guard: He was named to the 2009 SEC Basketball Community Service team. Polynice declaration for the draft is more of a result of a mutual parting of ways with head coach Andy Kennedy. Polynice did not play in the team's regular season finale, and saw a reduced role as the Rebels advanced to the semi-finals of the NIT. He's set to graduate this spring so he really doesn't have any other options. Regardless, I'm not even sure Eniel Polynice is better than the NBA journeyman Olden Polynice right now.
As the 61st ranked college junior, Draft Express says: "Eniel Polynice has an interesting skill set. He's very athletic, versatile... but can't shoot at all."
Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati)
In February, Lance Stephenson was prancing around telling everyone how excited he was to improve his game over the summer and lead the Bearcats his sophomore season. He had us all fooled. Stephenson really does think he's "Born Ready," even though 22 percent from beyond the arc and just 12 points a game on a non-tournament team would suggest otherwise. Much like Ebanks, he's not a polished player; instead he's a NYC folk hero who may have an ego that dwarfs his actual basketball talent. Stay tuned.
Dangerously projected as a late second round pick, Draft Express' Jonathan Givony says: "Don't get why Lance Stephenson reversed course and decided to enter. He had a very underwhelming season and has zero buzz right now."
A trio of Oklahoma Sooners
After the worst season in 29 years, OU's basketball program is about to undergo a full-fledged overhaul this off-season. Head Coach Jeff Capel brings in a pair of nice freshman, but loses guards Willie Warren and Tommy Mason-Griffin, and forward Tiny Gallon (who has yet to sign with an agent). The decisions are confounding, as the trio are not getting any ringing endorsements from pro scouts and the like. Gallon's decision to go pro is likely fueled by allegations he accepted money from a financial advisor in Florida, but Warren and Mason-Griffin appear to simply be misguided.
Willie has fallen from a sure-fire lottery pick to a likely late first-round selection, according to Draft Express. Mason-Griffin - not on any team's radar - not only has to worry about improving his game, he appears to be at a third-grade reading level.