To Stay or Not to Stay: Decisions Before the NBA Draft

Dan Wheat-RiversContributor IApril 10, 2009

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 29:  Blake Griffin #23 of the Oklahoma Sooners jumps into Tyler Hansbrough #50 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second half during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional Final at the FedExForum on March 29, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

With the college basketball national champions declared a few days ago, it's time for underclassmen to decide if they want to continue playing in college or try the pros. There are plenty of reasons to stay, and millions of reasons to go.

There are a number of players that have already declared for the draft, and I'd be amazed if the coming weeks didn't involve several more declaring.

Since the draft will be an increasingly popular topic over the next few weeks and months, I think it's time to tell you what I think of the players that have declared for the draft and those that stayed all four years.

My top five:
1)Ricky Rubio, PG Spain- Talented point guard that gave the US team a lot of problems in the Olympics. He's also been a star on the Spanish European team, DKV Joventut Barcelona. Has good size for a PG—6'4".

2)Blake Griffin, PF Oklahoma University- He's a young, athletic talent who can explode off the floor. The knock is that he needs to develop a jump shot. He seems to be strong enough already to bang inside with the big guys. Also has a great attitude.

3)Hasheem Thabeet, C University of Connecticut- He may go earlier, because he's 7'3". Has progressed tremendously in his three years in college and the pros will be expecting that progression in the future. Already good on defense, he'll need to improve his offense.

4)James Harden, SG Arizona State- His stock dropped some towards the end of the year, but he's great at getting the ball in the whole.

5)Jordan Hill, PF Arizona- A good rebounder whose offense improved this year. He needs to add strength, but I think he'll be a project for someone.

This list will most likely change as more people declare. I think Tyler Hansborough will be a top 25 pick, but his skill set isn't tailored to the NBA.