Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Best Of The Rest: Those Not Selected In The NBA Draft

Marquette's Vander Blue is among those undrafted who now must impress an NBA team this summer. (nydailynews.com)

Not every dream came true at the NBA Draft on June 27. Overlooked in the surprise of the picks and the hot-potato-like game of trading players are the guys who never heard their names called. Many will still get their chance playing on summer league teams, but the thrill of hearing their name read and having a hat to put on with pride was lost.

You will notice many of these players came out early, some questionably, showing the negative side to leaving school for a shot at the NBA. Everyone wants to get to the league as quickly as possible, but it doesn't work out for everyone, and another year in school can greatly benefit some of these players' games and lives.

That being said, we take a look at some of the notable names whose dream didn't come true on June 27 and will now look to get another chance this summer.

C.J. Leslie - North Carolina State
The 6'9" Wolfpack forward going undrafted was probably one of the more surprising of those left out on draft day. Leslie burst onto the national scene two years ago as he helped take NC State to the Sweet 16. Despite averaging 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season, the team's disappointing performance took the limelight off Leslie, and his thin frame at just 200 pounds could have been a factor in teams passing up on him.

Khalif Wyatt - Temple
Wyatt was a scoring machine last season for Temple, averaging 20.5 points per game and terrifying opposing defenses. The senior guard scored 30 or more points seven times last season, including back-to-back 31-point games in the NCAA Tournament. Wyatt was not exceptional at racking up assists or rebounds, and turned the ball over three times per game, but his offensive skill set should be enough for him to land on a team.

Myck Kabongo - Texas
Missing the first 23 games of last season due to suspension for NCAA violations hurt the Texas sophomore's stock, but when he did return during conference play, he made the most of it. Kabongo averaged 14.6 points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, although he struggled from behind the arc (shooting just 29.6 percent) and being only 6'1" did not help him in the eyes of NBA GMs.  

Vander Blue - Marquette
When your own coach questions if you should be leaving school early for the draft, that might be a red flag. Sure, Blue greatly improved his scoring last season, and yes, next year's draft class is predicted to be much deeper, but Blue probably should have returned to Marquette for another year. Blue still struggles from 3-point range (30 percent) and averaged more turnovers (2.3) than assists (1.8), which is never a good sign.

Phil Pressey - Missouri
Pressey may have been the best passing point guard in the country last season for Missouri, not just for his 7.1 assists per game, but how he facilitated the offense. Pressey also contributed 11.9 points per game, but did so shooting less than 40 percent from the field. The Tiger point guard also had a string of bad performances in key moments at the end of games and his size (listed as 5'11.5" with shoes) left NBA teams hesitant. Still, Pressey's awareness, passing skills and ability to see the floor should allow him to land on a team this summer.

Other notable undrafted players: 
Brandon Paul - Illinois
Trevor Mbakwe - Minnesota
Adonis Thomas - Memphis
Matthew Dellavedova - St. Mary's
Seth Curry - Duke

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