Sophomores Slide On Draft Night
One of the underlying story on a crazy Draft night is that of star freshmen, we are talking top ten picks, that found themselves in a much different spot in 2012 after a second college season.
North Carolina wing Harrison Barnes went right about where he was expected to go, perhaps a little lower at No. 7 to Golden State, worthy of the No. 4 pick at the least a year ago. The real losers were Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones of Baylor, two sophomores sent plummeting by red flags due to injury concerns. Although both Sullinger's and Jones' reports differed by different medical sources, it was enough to send Sullinger into the early 20s, to be snagged by Boston. But Jones had to wait a while longer to be selected 28th overall by Oklahoma City.
Despite the loss of millions of dollars and perhaps some pride along the way, Sullinger and Jones end up in better situations than feeling the pressure of a high-risk, high-reward lottery pick. The husky and underwhelming athlete of Sullinger showed limited production against length and athleticism in his defenders, causing him to be a potential bust as a high 2011 Draft pick. However, over the course of his sophomore season, Sullinger showed off his ability to step away from the basket, all the way out to 3-point territory. In a similar mold to that of former-Celtic, Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Sullinger is in a great situation, especially if Kevin Garnett returns to take the youngster under his wing.
Perry Jones is one of the more high-potential prospects in the Draft, situated only behind Andre Drummond in terms of bust potential. But at 28, Jones couldn't be in a more favorable place. There will be little pressure on him with a stacked roster coming off a Finals appearance. He'll have time to develop his frame, mold his skill set and Scott Brooks can use his length and athleticism to fill three positions on the floor.
By NBA-DRAFT.com Staff Writer - 6 - 30 - 12