The end of the regular season gives me cause to reflect on the events of this year all the way back to the end of last season. The biggest decisions that affected how this season played out were made shortly after the season when Trent Plaisted decided to declare for the NBA Draft, and Lee Cummard decided to stay.
There is no way that anyone could possibly know what would have happened if those choices were changed in anyway. All we can do at this point is look at how those decisions have played out.
First, we’ll consider Plaisted. He was drafted No. 46 by the Seattle Supersonics, now the Oklahoma City Thunder, and was immediately traded to the Detroit Pistons. He ultimately signed with Angelico Biella in Italy until he suffered a season ending injury in December.
While there is no telling how his fate would have changed had he stayed at BYU, at the time, I think he made the right choice to enter the draft, and I still do. There is no way you can forecast an injury, and with a full season of development he may very well have cracked into an NBA roster next season.
Now let's consider Cummard. Many so called experts felt he had a good chance to be drafted, but there is little reason to believe he would have gone much higher, if at all, than Plaisted did.
The risk you run of staying another season is you may get injured, or you may not have a very good year, and your stock could drop.
While Cummard did not get injured, he did not have quite the stellar season he probably would have hoped for. He obviously did not show that he is a superstar team leader, but that is not all bad.
In this day and age of egotistical superstars, there is more need than ever for roleplayers that are willing to do the dirty work.
I look at Lee as more of an Adam Keefe type player. Someone that you know will work their butt off, scrap for rebounds, and in the vein of Robert Horry, may just hit a game winner for you when the game is on the line.
He is not an up and down emotional player, but rather someone that will consistently give you all he has. He will probably never put up 20 points a game in the NBA, but he may just be the difference maker in a series like Robert Horry, Steve Kerr, or Jeff Hornacek.
There is no way to know what would have happened if Lee had entered the draft last year, but as a diehard BYU fan, I would just like to personally say thank you to Lee for all of his hard work in his time at BYU.
He has been a huge part of building a foundation of success at BYU that will hopefully last for years to come. Best of luck in the Las Vegas Invitational, and the Big Dance, and here’s hoping you find much success in the NBA, you deserve it.