BOZICH | Buzzer beater: Final NBA Draft calls on Onuaku, Lee, Wi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Buzzer beater: Final NBA Draft calls on Onuaku, Lee, Williams, Briscoe, Blackmon

Posted: Updated:
Chinanu Onuaku must make his NBA Draft decision by midnight Wednesday. Chinanu Onuaku must make his NBA Draft decision by midnight Wednesday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – See that clock on the wall?

When it reaches midnight on May 25 every college basketball underclassman who made himself eligible will have to decide if he is remaining in the 2016 NBA Draft or returning to college basketball.

Locally, that means it is nearly time for Chinanu Onuaku of Louisville, Marcus Lee and Isaiah Briscoe of Kentucky and Indiana’s Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr. to make their calls.

That made Tuesday the perfect day to call my NBA sources for the latest word on those fives guys.

Their scouting report was simple and direct: All five should return to college.

None will be taken in the first round. Briscoe, Lee, Williams and Blackmon will not be taken in the first or second round, which includes 60 picks.

“Onuaku is a second-round pick but the (heart) procedure that he had last week could scare some teams,” one scout said. “But Rick (Pitino) said he was leaving last week so that’s the feeling.”

If what those five should do is obvious, what they will do is far from it. This is the latest intelligence I have gathered:

Onuaku: 50-50. But latest intel leaning toward a possible return, after Pitino said last week he was "98 percent" wanting to go pro.

Briscoe: Will return.

Lee: Will leave.

Williams: Will leave.

Blackmon: Will return.

“I think it would be in the best interests of every one of those players to return to school,” one scout said. “You just hope they’re not blinded by the light.

“Onuaku should look at what Rick Pitino did for Gorgui Dieng and follow that example. He should let Rick Pitino push him into becoming a lottery pick because Rick Pitino would love nothing more than doing that.

“He did it with Gorgui and now that kid is going to become a multi-millionaire. There’s a lesson there.”

Briscoe?

“How many years did it take Tyler Ulis to become a first-round pick?” one scout asked.

Two seasons?

“What’s wrong with going back to Kentucky for a second season and doing what Ulis did?” the scout asked.

Tough to argue with that.

Marcus Lee?

“He’s in a tougher spot,” a scout said. “He’s not going to get drafted. But he’s facing the other side of playing at Kentucky, the one that people don’t talk about.

“If you stay there, (John) Calipari will recruit right by you if you’re not playing well. That’s the situation he’s in. It’s a tough call.”

Troy Williams?

“He didn’t play well in the combine and I really don’t think he’s going to get drafted in the second round either,” one scout said. “He needs to go back to school.

“Go out there and put up 30 points against North Carolina (in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge) and then maybe people will start talking about you as a lottery pick next year.”

And Blackmon, who missed the final three months of the season with a knee injury?

“I’d be stunned if he didn’t return to Indiana,” a scout said. “Stunned. I haven’t heard anybody talk about drafting him.”

We’ll have all the answers by midnight Wednesday.

Copyright 2016 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

  • Sign Up for the WDRB Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.