Pac-10 Draft Hits

        In just the last 24 hours alone, we can see why the Pac-10 will be moving back into mediocrity next season- the NBA Draft has been the conference's biggest threat the past few years and once again, demolish some of the top talent out west. Consider this, only two Pac-10 players were drafted last year, both seniors, down from nine in 2009 (six first rounders) and 12 in 2008 (seven in the first round).

        Now, a look ahead at this year's draft- Derrick Williams is the only lock in the first round and he's a top two pick. UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt announced he will enter the draft and sign with an agent, no matter what the lockout situation may be. He'll be player number two for the Pac-10 to be drafted, although at this moment in time, workouts pending, he looks more like an early-second round pick than he does a late-first rounder. If Washington State junior shooting guard Klay Thompson declares, he'll promote an interesting situation for NBA teams. He's a solid talent who has put up some gaudy numbers this year, leading the league in scoring and it's a shooting guard depleted draft, so that bodes well for him. His recent run-in with police over possession of marijuana, however, does not. He's best suited returning to school for his senior season and entering the draft then. The fourth Pac-10 prospect is a late-bloomer, Nikola Vucevic, the 6'10" power forward from USC. He has already hosted his press conference announcing his intentions to enter the draft and signed with an agent to cement his decision. This past season, he was one of 24 collegiate players to average a double-double, but has a developing perimeter game and low-post size to bang at the next level. He'll be a second-rounder despite his limited athleticism. Washington senior forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning is the last of the conference's potential draft picks, but ranks just outside our Top 60 on our latest Big Board. He should move up closer to the draft as he'll likely measure out well at the NBA Combine in mid-May.

By President Corey Ruff - 3-29-11