Which Schools Will Suffer the Most from NBA Draft-Bound Athletes?
Schools' tourney hopes for next season went down the drain once their players declared for the NBA draft. Not all, but a few schools will struggle next year.
Some schools will have huge voids to fill in order to punch a ticket into the big dance. Let's take a look at which teams will hurt the most after losing their premier players.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes will have a major void to fill in the paint. Power forward Jared Sullinger is NBA bound after his sophomore season.
The first-team All-American averaged 17.5 points and a little more than nine boards a game. Sullinger also led the team to the Final Four this past season.
The presence they have lost inside is monumental and will hugely affect their record.
UConn is the unlucky team to have two team leaders depart. Freshman C Andre Drummond and sophomore SG Jeremy Lamb are expected to be lottery picks in the upcoming draft.
The Huskies are losing a perimeter player and a post presence. Drummond and Lamb combined for 27 points a game last season.
UConn had their struggles all season and were bounced in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This season, it could get worse now that they have lost Drummond and Lamb.
The Gators will have to find a way to replace first-team All-SEC shooting guard Bradley Beal. Beal was sensational as a freshman, averaging 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. He was a key component in their run to the Elite 8 last season.
The Gators also will lose senior point guard Erving Walker, who averaged 12.1 points. Their backcourt will definitely need to be tuned up for them to make the tournament.
The Gators do not have a very strong incoming class, so that could only spell trouble heading into next season.
Marquette Golden Eagles
The nucleus of the Golden Eagles is now gone. The two leading scorers of the team, Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, have completed their senior seasons.
Johnson-Odom averaged 18 points a game and Crowder averaged 17.5 points along with 8.4 rebounds a game. Plus, both players brought great energy to the team. They led the Golden Eagles to the Sweet 16 in the tournament last season.
The 2012-2013 campaign for Marquette will be a rough one without these two.
Vandy will lose their top three scorers on the team to the pros. C Festus Ezeli, SF Jeffery Taylor and SG John Jenkins all averaged double figures last season—they were the only players on the team to do so.
The most irreplaceable player of the three is Ezeli because of his size and defensive presence inside. The Commodores do not have one recruit from the ESPN 100 committed to them.
Vandy was able to make the tournament last season, but this year do not expect anything close to that level of success.