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Expect Perry Jones to join shallow draft class

Mar 12, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

Baylor Bears Perry Jones III Suspended

No one’s really excited about the 2011 NBA Draft. It’s not a great class at its best, especially when compared to what the 2012 class of freshmen will look like, but the lockout is the real issue. Though there’s a small chance the drafted class may fall under the current rookie scale versus a revamped, further reduced version in the new CBA, there’s a lockout coming, which means those players could be stranded without pay for quite a while.  The result is that several top picks could elect to return to their respective universities for their sophomore seasons, enjoy the college pay life for another year, then enter the 2012 draft. But one top pick is reportedly going to go ahead and enter the draft, even under a cloud of investigation.

Perry Jones of Baylor was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for improper benefits earlier this week, keeping him out of the Big 12 tournament and likely for any postseason tournament. (The Bears seem to be a lock for the NIT after getting blasted by Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament without Jones.) Yahoo! Sports reported Friday that Jones is likely to go ahead and declare for the 2011 draft, where he’s considered a top-5 pick by most sites and scouts.

It’s not like getting nailed by the NCAA is any sort of problem for NBA scouts. Most are either involved in similar situations of improper benefits, or don’t care, because, let’s face it, the whole system is patently ridiculous. Jones, for example, had his biggest violation be three mortgage payments provided by, you guessed it, an AAU coach to his mother when he was in high school, which Jones’ mother repaid. That plus a trip to see an NFL game was enough to get Jones tagged by this absurd system that simultaneously exploits and chastises players for threatening to gain any benefit from their status as players. The NBA, on the other hand, will simply look at Jones’ game, and make their evaluation from there. It won’t affect his draft status one way or another.

Jones has nice touch around the basket, a solid righty hook, and decent footwork. He needs to work on his footwork, defensive awareness, and all the other things most rookie bigmen need to, but at 6-11, 225 lbs., he’s got the tangibles to keep him in the top five. For so many teams looking to upgrade in size in the top of the draft, Jones could be a huge catch. The NCAA just cemented his availability.

  1. adamthompson24 - Mar 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Nice NCAA call out…players are practically modern day indentured servants. Sure they get a partial education, but the players that are getting benefits and earning the schools millions don’t care about it. They will make ridiculous sums of money in the pros. Sterns one and done rule is only a further attempt to premanufacture the future of the league so they are more marketable when they declare. To think a year on a college campus living with college kids in dorms, banging hot chicks, and partying helps improve a persons chance to succeed on their own in the league is absurd. Not to mention the rule completely diminishes the integrity of a college education to begin with. The NBA needs more mandatory educational programs that teach players hands on ways to protect themselves, their families, and their fortunes from the blood suckers that come at them with their hands out.

  2. borderline1988 - Mar 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    It’s not about college – it’s an age thing.

    The NBA (as well as many of us) has a hard time believing that an 18 year old (or even a 17 year old) can deal with the pressure of earning millions and fans’ expectations. Obviously, a one year difference isn’t huge, but it’s something.
    I agree with your statement regarding how the NBA needs more mandatory educational programs, but that’s regardless of the college rule.

    • adamthompson24 - Mar 12, 2011 at 11:25 PM

      Like you say, a year isn’t a huge difference. As in, it’s not a huge difference in the development of that player. But that year to the player and his family? That one year can be absolute enormous. The trade off is so plainly skewed to benefit the NCAA and the NBA. They paint it as a decision in the best interest of the player, but I’m pretty sure every young player would disagree. If they wanted to make a meaningful age restriction, it should be a two year ruling. That would allow students to advance through the transitional phase involved in the first year of college, allowing them to actually become involved in their academics. Players can take the most rudimentary classes for one year, knowing they’ll be gone. If they are there for 2 years, they will be taking classes moving towards their major, while also developing their ability to be responsible for themselves. One year is no more than a speed bump in the big scheme of things; one that provides tremendous profits to the corporate leaders of college basketball. Where’s the tradeoff?

  3. zblott - Mar 13, 2011 at 6:11 AM

    Everyone does realize that Perry Jones will without question be a complete bust and every team he’s ever been on has underperformed (Baylor was ranked 9th at one point this year before they played real teams)? I stand by everything I said about him in August:

    http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2010/8/6/the-importance-of-scouts-an-experiment-freshmen-to-be-and-th.html

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