Typically, the longer you stick around in college, the more and more NBA scouts collect on your game.
Sometimes, the decision to stay—Jared Sullinger, for instance—hurts your value more than it helps. For others, rationale comes into play, and scouts realize what’s going on underneath the surface if a player fails to live up to expectations.
Jeremy Lamb is one of those such exceptions to the rule. In fact, staying may have raised his stock.
After exploding onto the college scene as a freshman and helping Connecticut capture a national championship in 2011, Lamb was expected to do more this past season. Lamb failed to live up to the hype, however, quietly performing in the latter half of the year while virtually disappearing from the NCAA tournament.
Normally, when a player fails to develop and show subtle improvements in his game, the scrutiny falls back on that player. However, in Lamb’s case, scouts may be giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Lamb’s game suffered after losing point guard Kemba Walker to the last draft. UConn was at the center of a series of NCAA violations that will result in a one-year NCAA tournament ban for the program.
This past season for Lamb was surely chaotic (maybe even unbearable, at times) as the program struggled to save face. At the same time, Lamb never had a chance to develop without a viable and experienced point guard.
Lamb is projected to go in the top 15, something that may not have been expected as recently as a month ago. The fact that Lamb didn’t live up to expectations hasn’t hurt him, so expect his rise to continue.