UNLV’s Brandon McCoy was the Mountain West freshman of the year.
And he wasn’t drafted.
Bryant Crawford and Doral Moore decided to leave Wake Forest, skip out on their senior seasons and stay in the NBA draft.
They weren’t drafted, either.
Would any of them, or the number of early-entrants, like Kansas’ Malik Newman, who also wasn’t selected, choose to go back to school once they weren’t selected?
It’s hard to tell. The possibility of a rule change allowing such has been discussed and could be put in the legislative food chain in the not-too-distant future.
But it’s still hard to tell once players make the decision to leave in the spring, and essentially feel like professionals, if they want to go back to being a student-athlete.
“The rules are the rules and if you declare you give up your college eligibility and you’ve embarked on a professional journey and now you’ve got to go and figure it out,’’ said Wake Forest coach Danny Manning on NCAA.com's latest March Madness 365 podcast. Manning also discussed the number of big men at the top of the draft, his time coaching with Kansas’ Bill Self and Dayton’s Anthony Grant earlier this month with USA Basketball’s gold-medal winning FIBA America's U18 team, and Wake Forest’s team next season.
“It’s an unfortunate and serious side to making those decisions," he said. "They knew the deal going in.’’
Manning stressed that this happens in other sports, too, as they decide to take the harder road. The NBA only guarantees first-round contracts, making the decision even tougher, even with the number of second-round picks and undrafted players who ultimately can find their way toward a guaranteed contract and earn a spot on an NBA team or a G League squad in hopes of getting to the league.
After a busy start to the summer with @usabasketball, Danny Manning is pleased with the effort shown in @WakeMBB's workouts.@CoachDManning joins @TheAndyKatz in the latest March Madness 365 podcast!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) June 26, 2018
UNLV coach Marvin Menzies said McCoy, who averaged 16.9 points and 10.3 rebounds for the Runnin’ Rebels last season, was ready to be a pro. And he said, “he will be a pro,’’ and supported McCoy’s decision. McCoy will play for the Milwaukee Bucks' summer league team in July.
Menzies, who was on the podcast with Manning and also discussed the MWC rivalry with “Final Four-good” Nevada, said he supports players leaving out of high school to the NBA draft. But he said if players do start college and want to come back after not being drafted that there should be flexibility with the rule.
“Education is education and it’s valuable,’’ Menzies said. “We should still give that young man a chance to be educated and on scholarship.’’
Whether or not the school has to hold a spot for that player could be discussed, considering it would be nearly July before the player would know if he wasn’t selected. There are still a lot of ways this could be addressed. But the consensus is that players should get the best possible advice before making a decision on turning pro.