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The Case To Stay

With the news of Maalik Wayns entering the draft after his junior season at Villanova, you may wonder whether it is an intelligent decision for him to forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility. To put it simply, it is probably not the best decision. He is clearly receiving questionable advice and should return to Villanova for his senior year.

I realize this may be alarming to him and many of his fans; however, I have come to this conclusion based on a number of objective factors, looking far beyond the scouting reports and dilemma facing a point guard who failed to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament. 

I reviewed the previous 10 NBA drafts, examining the number of point guards drafted.

2002: 13
2003: 15
2004: 16
2005: 12
2006: 12
2007: 10
2008: 8
2009: 18
2010: 7
2011: 19 

This includes all guards who can run the point and those considered to be “combo” guards.  

The 2009 draft was a great year for point guards entering the draft; 18 were drafted. The following season, John Wall was taken with the first pick by the Wizards and only six point guards were selected after him. All four second-rounders selected are not active in the league today. 

Because an abundance of big men chose to stay in school based on the NBA lockout and CBA negotiations, the 2011 draft was relatively weak. There were 19 point guards selected in 2011, setting the tone for less to get drafted this year.

Taking a closer look, we see that this year’s draft class is very deep. Although Jared Sullinger, Harris Barnes and Perry Jones III returned for their sophomore campaigns this season, it is likely they will all enter the 2012 NBA Draft. NCAA Champion Kentucky has the potential to have six players drafted. Andre Drummond is a big man with a lot of potential, and his UConn teammate Jeremy Lamb will almost certainly excel in the NBA. North Carolina, Duke and Syracuse should all provide some draft quality candidates as well.

Despite what appears to be a very deep draft class, the point guard position lacks candidates who will make an immediate impact at the NBA level. Looking at previous drafts, and the fact that 19 were selected in 2011, I predict only eight to 12 point guards will be drafted, the majority of which will be second round picks.

I believe only one point guard will be selected as a lottery pick.  

Analyzing available point guard draft candidates should paint a clear picture as to why I feel this way. Below is a list of 26 players who can run the point that may potentially enter the 2012 NBA Draft. Although they all likely believe they are NBA caliber, many will none-the-less be forced to find work overseas. 

Scott Machado
Kendall Marshall
Jordan Theodore
Dee Bost
Tu Holloway
Scoop Jardine
Tyshawn Taylor
Marquis Teague
Maalik Wayns
Jorge Gutierrez
Damian Lillard
Jordan Taylor
Tony Wroten
J'Covan Brown
Juan Fernandez
Gerald Robinson
Casper Ware
Devoe Joseph
Momo Jones
Truck Bryant
Dion Waiters
Ashton Gibbs
Malcolm Grant
Jason Clark
Menaja Nedovic
Tomas Satoransky 

If Maalik Wayns is faced with the option of returning to Villanova or playing in Europe, I would highly advise him to return for his senior season. Is he one of the top eight to 12 point guards entering the Draft? Returning to school will allow him to work on his weaknesses and provide another opportunity to lead his team to a successful season.

Villanova is a very young team that will continue to grow and develop. The Wildcats bring back 2013 seniors Dominic Cheek and Yarou Mouphtaou, who each averaged over 10 points per game, respectively. Mouphtau, a defensive force to be reckoned with, also averaged over eight boards per game. He adds a presence in the paint, averaging almost a block per game over his first three years of collegiate basketball. Returning with the hunger to succeed is sophomore JayVuaghn Pinkson, a 6-7 Brooklyn native, that will energize this squad and provide a ton of quality minutes in the front court.

With Wayns' potential return to Villanova, he will be given more responsibility and be provided an opportunity to lead a talented and promising group to the NCAA tournament in 2013.  In addition, the Big East stage is a much better place (as opposed to Europe) to display his improvements that he hopes to make this offseason. Scouts will be watching him closely to monitor his development. His athleticism, defensive skills and lateral quickness are areas that all need improvement and rumor has it he has been working very hard to change scouts’ opinions.  It will be easier to excel in the Villanova system as opposed to learning a new coach’s system overseas. With the number of drafted point guards expected to be low in June 2012, Maalik Wayns will be better off returning to school. Plus, an abundance of point guards are expected to be drafted in 2013, increasing his odds of celebrating a late birthday in June of 2013.

- Jeffrey Dobin is a certified player agent.

 

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