When it comes to the 2013 NBA draft, every scout and analyst has labeled prospects with the tags of "promise" and "potential." Although some of those prospects will have proven worthy of an early draft choice, others will be selected off of what could be.
The question is, which prospects must spend another year in school to truly reach their potential?
From athletically gifted players with limited skill sets to talented players with significant voids, there is an abundance of those in need of development. Fortunately, those players have been targeted as the stars of tomorrow, not today.
So, who needs to stick it out to reach that upside?
Position: Point Forward
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6'9", 235 pounds, 7'2" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages: 21.87 PER, 10.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Kyle Anderson may not be the most athletically gifted player in the nation, but he does something that few point guards are capable of.
He makes the game move at his pace.
At 6'9", Anderson has outstanding ball-handling abilities and unparalleled court vision. He's also proven to be an excellent rebounder and an opportunistic defender. Unfortunately, he has absolutely no jump shot—something that would severely damage his chances of thriving at the NBA level if he left after this season.
With the development of a jumper, Anderson could be a future All-Star. With phenomenal size, length and skill, the physical ability is certainly there. The mental aspect is too.
When it comes to players with such extraordinary physical gifts, the key is often development. That's the case for Anderson and his elusive jump shot.
Position: Shooting Guard
2012-13 Season Averages: 14.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.9 SPG
Vander Blue is an elite slasher who can get to the basket with ease and convert at a consistently high rate. For evidence, check the fact that Blue is shooting 55.3 percent on two-point field goals.
With that being said, he is converting just 29.2 percent from three-point range—up 3.4 points from his sophomore season.
Blue may be an unknown amongst the mainstream fans, but he's the type of player that will hear his name in the second-round discussion once players begin to declare or remain in school. The key for him is to resist temptation.
If we're talking about players who would benefit from staying in college, Blue is at the top of the list. This young man has star potential and is a jump shot away from reaching it.
If hard work truly pays off, there's no reason to leave early—not when you're so close to making a star-caliber impact.
Position: Point Guard
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6'5", 175 pounds, 6'5" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages: 22.24 PER, 12.5 PPG, 7.9 APG, 4.8 RPG, 2.9 SPG, 28.4% 3PT
Michael Carter-Williams began the 2012-13 season as one of the hottest prospects in the nation.
As a 6'5" point guard who was leading the NCAA in assists, it's hard to blame scouts for being enticed. After all, Carter-Williams topped double-digit assists in nine of his first 14 games.
Unfortunately, he's done it just once in the 16 games since.
That's not just a statistical decline, but a sign of his inability to overcome defensive adjustments made by opposing coaches.
MCW was praised as a high-quality jump shooter entering this season. An increase in playing time has exposed him as a weak shooter, however, which has led to the "Rajon Rondo treatment."
Defenses are playing off of Carter-Williams, thus disrupting his passing lanes. In turn, he has been forced to beat teams with his jumper.
A slash line of .378/.284/.752 displays his inefficiency
Until Carter-Williams improves his jump shot, bulks up and learns how to draw help defenders, he's not NBA-ready.
With another year under coach Jim Boeheim, however, this young man could begin to reach his true potential.
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 7'0", 220 pounds, 7'2" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages: 23.56 PER, 22.4 MPG, 8.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.1 BPG
Willie Cauley-Stein is an elite athlete with the upside to be one of the next great centers in the NBA.
He's mobile enough to run the floor, is aggressive in the paint and blocks shots as well as anyone in the nation. Unfortunately, he's also as thin as paper.
Until Cauley-Stein bulks up, he will struggle to defend in the NBA. For that reason, it would behoove him to stay for another year under coach John Calipari and put on some muscle mass.
As an explosive athlete, gaining some pounds shouldn't hurt his mobility too much.
Upon gaining weight, Cauley-Stein can become more physical down low. It's then that he will develop other areas of his game, such as a back-to-the-basket skill set.
The sky is the limit with this kid—will he take the proper steps to play in the clouds?
Position: Shooting Guard
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6'4", 210 pounds, 6'8" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages: 20.26 PER, 13.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 42.2% 3PT
Garry Harris is one of the most intriguing and rapidly developing prospects in the 2013 NBA draft class. He has excellent length for his position and above-average athleticism. Paired with a reliable mid-range game, Harris has the makings of a star scorer at the next level.
With that being said, he must develop from a physical and athletic perspective before making it in the NBA.
Harris plays a physical brand of basketball, but he's hardly strong enough to compete with the 2s in the professional ranks. By playing under Tom Izzo for another season, however, he could develop in such a sense.
Upon doing so, Harris could be one of the top shooting guards of tomorrow.
Position: Point Guard
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6'6", 180 pounds, 6'7" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages: N/A
Prior to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Providence point guard and highly touted recruit Ricardo Ledo was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
Although inactive now, he does have the option of foregoing next season and entering the 2013 NBA draft.
He might be the most offensively gifted player in the nation. He has extraordinary size, world-class handles and a paralyzing step-back jumper.
Truth be told, there's a limited amount that this kid can't do.
Heading to the NBA after sitting out for a full season, however, would be nothing short of counterproductive.
While the money may be attractive, playing at the NBA pace after receiving no run the season prior would be the perfect way to get sent to the D-League—a place where the money is much less attractive.
If he returns, however, Ledo would receive playing time against elite Big East foes. As a result, he'd truly start the process of reaching his limitless potential at the next level.
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 7'1", 225 pounds, 7'3" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages: 24.17 PER, 26.3 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.9 BPG
On tape, Alex Len is strikingly similar to four-time All-Star Pau Gasol. Both players are skilled around the basket and can finish with either hand. Both Len and Gasol can create for others by passing out of the post.
Unfortunately, both Len and Gasol also tend to disappear from time to time when they should be dominating as their talent suggests.
A major reason for Len's inability to keep the motor running is his frame. At 225 pounds, he is rather frail down on the low post.
Attempting to defend centers in the NBA would be nothing short of painstaking for this promising big man.
By spending another year at Maryland, however, Len could bulk up and improve his killer instinct. Upon doing so, he'd maintain his top-10 projection and be able to step in and help an NBA franchise from day one.
If he comes out now, however, he'd likely spend a majority of his rookie season on the bench while his head coach told him just one thing: Get bigger.
Position: Power Forward
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6'9", 233 pounds, 7'1" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages: 17.57 PER, 14.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.5 SPG
As the North Carolina Tar Heels have turned their season around, so has James Michael McAdoo.
Unfortunately, McAdoo remains an athlete without a defined position—until that changes, he'd be foolish to test the NBA waters.
The NBA is vicious when it comes to its treatment of position-less players. If they aren't perimeter scorers capable of being a sixth man, they're often relegated to the bench or the D-League.
As an interior athlete with no jump shot—he has attempted just two three-pointers all season—McAdoo falls into the latter category.
The physical tools are there for him to thrive at the NBA level. The will to improve is as well, which suggests that he could define his role more in 2013-14.
Until head coach Roy Williams find a way to prove McAdoo's legitimacy at the 4, however, he must return to school and continue to progress.
Position: Shooting Guard
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6'5", 214 pounds, 6'7" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages: 30.10 PER, 13.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.3 SPG
Victor Oladipo is a special player.
Mentally, he's a step ahead of the competition. While others read and react, Oladipo is one of the rare breeds who can see a play before it transpires.
This ability to anticipate and break plays up is met by world-class athleticism and an explosive burst that only superstars display.
That's the key here.
If Oladipo remains at Indiana for his senior season and allows Tom Crean to mold him, he could be something more than great—he could be a superstar.
With that being said, Oladipo coming out after this season would require him to hit the next gear while in the NBA. That's a much more difficult process than it sounds.
Another year in school and this young man is the superstar his abilities suggest he can be.
Position: Small Forward
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6'7", 215 pounds, 7'0" wingspan
2012-13 Season Averages
20.26 PER, 25.7 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 58.9% FG
Alex Poythress is a long and athletic player with an excellent base. Paired with a high basketball IQ, Poythress has the upside to be a dominant defender at the next level.
Offensively, Poythress is responsible to a fault with his shot selection. When aggressive, however, Poythress is more than capable of dropping 20 by virtue of his size and ability to attack the basket.
The issue is, that aggression just hasn't been present on a consistent basis.
When it is, Poythress is often the best player on the court. When it isn't, his contributions are limited and his stock takes a hit.
By returning to Kentucky for another year, that issue could be resolved.
Poythress would be a veteran leader on a star-studded team in 2013-14. Much like Terrence Jones in 2011-12, Poythress would have the opportunity to build a reputation around the nation as a respected leader.
In turn, he'd enter the NBA as a much more ready prospect than he is now.
That could be the difference between a quality career and a great one.
Position: Small Forward
Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6'6", 210 pounds
2012-13 Season Averages: 19.69 PER, 11.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 56.9% FG
Glenn Robinson III is one of the most promising players in the nation. He moves smoothly across the floor, rises up without effort and glides from side to side.
Paired with limitless length and consistent finishing abilities around the basket, Robinson has star potential. Potential that will only be fully reached if he develops for another year under head coach John Beilein.
Robinson has an excellent feel for the game. This comes as expected due to the fact that he's the son of former NBA great Glenn Robinson Jr.
With that being said, GR3 has a mediocre jump shot and an inconsistent level of production when it comes to the opponents he's facing.
Upon developing a more consistent killer instinct and a reliable jumper, Robinson III could be the next great small forward. Until that happens, however, he will be limited.
A shame for such a promising player.