Every year, countless of young college players declare their eligibility for the NBA Draft. While many go on to stardom, many more go on to mediocrity and many more than that go on to irrelevance. I'm here to help some young college stars avoid that fate.
Some guys need more time to develop before they make the jump to the pro level. It may not have to do with a lack of talent. It may simply be that their game lacks the refinement and development necessary to keep up in the faster-paced professional game.
There are quite a few players in this year's draft that should return to school for some of that refinement, even if they are lottery picks. It's tough for young players to see this, but becoming the best player you can be before you get to the professional level is more important in the long run than an early pay day.
Here are three college players that should seriously consider heading back to campus for next season.
Austin Rivers has tremendous talent, but he needs to be in school at Duke for at least another year.
While he has the potential to be a very good shooting guard at the next level, Rivers probably won't be a superstar caliber player. However, while he was at Duke, he played like one, taking over games when he didn't necessarily need to.
Rivers needs to learn to play more within the offense, and that is something that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski can teach him to do.
Reports have surfaced that Rivers will probably go pro, but he should reconsider.
It appears now that Jared Sullinger hurt himself tremendously by not declaring for the draft last season, when he was thought of as a lock lottery pick. Now, it appears he may not go in the Top 10.
Sullinger is a very polished player, but he isn't the most athletic player out there. He can struggle when facing competition that is more athletic than he is. That's exactly what he'll face in the NBA on a nightly basis.
He should stay in college longer so that he can better learn how to deal with and outplay opposing talent. Plus, it is pretty unlikely that his draft status could go down much further.
You probably think I'm crazy right now, and maybe I am, but I just think that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could benefit from another year in college.
I know he's probably going to be the No. 2 overall pick and that it would be "stupid" to stay in school, but hear me out.
Right now, Kidd-Gilchrist could be a very good defender in the NBA. He's also got great intangible qualities, and is a leader on and off the court. However, his offensive game will struggle at the next level.
At Kentucky, he has scored his points by simply being more athletic than the guy guarding him. That will not work in the NBA. He won't be able to bull his way past and through people to the rim.
Since he has a very poor perimeter game (25 percent from the three-point line), defenders will be able to back off of him and protect against the drive, which is his bread and butter.
Am I saying that he will be a bust if he goes? No. But if he stayed in college and developed a better outside jumper, he'd be more ready for his rookie season and could potentially be a superstar.