Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Doug McDermott all had their college seasons end sooner than they had intended over the weekend.
Worse, each went out on a personal low note that could impact what happens on June 26, 2014, in the NBA draft.
Generally speaking, the body of work overrides one moment in a career. But when it’s the last moment, it is definitely a sticking point.
Parker was 4 for 14 in Duke’s loss to No. 14 seed Mercer. He scored 14 points after averaging 19 points and 8.7 rebounds during the season.
Isn’t the player being considered the No. 1 overall pick in the draft expected to guide a No. 3 seed to a second-round NCAA tournament win?
Fellow college freshman Andrew Wiggins was in a similar situation when Kansas faced Stanford last Sunday. Wiggins shot 1 for 6 from the field, finishing with four points to go with four turnovers in a 60-57 loss to No. 10 seed Stanford.
That performance was far below Wiggins’ season averages of 17 points and 6.0 rebounds, not to mention his performances of 41 points and 30 points in two Big 12 games the week before.
Last weekend Wiggins did not have the services of fellow freshman Jayhawk Joel Embiid, who missed the last six games of Kansas’ season because of a back injury. Embiid averaged 11 points and 8.0 rebounds when healthy this season.
Visions of Anthony Bennett are dancing in my head. Parker, Wiggins and Embiid are considered to be three of the top four picks in the upcoming draft.
Bennett averaged 16 points and 8.0 rebounds as a freshman at UNLV in 2013. He was selected No. 1 overall last spring by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bennett’s rookie season has been a huge disappointment. Six times he has scored in double figures this year, but 14 times he has been held scoreless. He averages just 12.7 minutes on a team that is 27-44.
Back to the possible class of 2014 and Doug McDermott. The four-year Creighton star led the nation in scoring with 26.7 points per game, shooting 53 percent from the field and 45 percent from behind the arc. However, he scored just 15 points in a third-round loss to Baylor.
McDermott is a great college scorer but can he be the same in the NBA?
The responsibility to be right when selecting talent in the NBA draft is huge.
Oklahoma City is the most talked about model of how to rebuild a franchise successfully through draft and development. But a team like the Cavaliers can’t be ignored.
The Cavs hold the NBA record for the longest losing streak with 26 and they set it just four seasons ago. It’s the same record the Sixers will match if they don’t beat the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Cleveland won 19 games that season; 21 the following, 24 last year and currently they have 27 victories. They have twice picked No. 1 and twice at No. 4 overall the past three drafts.
The Sixers may have to share a 26-game losing streak with the Cavs, but they certainly don’t want to be 27-44 in the final year of coach Brett Brown’s four-year contract.