Arizona junior point guard Nic Wise became the third member of Arizona's big three to enter his name into the NBA Draft today. Unlike teammates Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, Wise will not sign with an agent. That will give Wise the opportunity to return to school next season.
None of the big NBA mock draft websites have Wise listed as a first-round pick. The majority of them have him listed as undrafted this year and as a mid to late second round pick in 2010.
Wise had a great 2009 season, especially during Arizona's run to the NCAA Sweet 16. During the season, Wise averaged 15.7 PPG, 4.6 APG and shot 41.5 percent from three point range and 84.8 percent from the foul line. During the tournament, Wise increased his averages to 21.3 PPG, shot 91.3 percent from the free throw line, and grabbed 11 rebounds in three games.
Wise is the latest line in the long tradition of point guards at Arizona, nicknamed "Point Guard U."
Testing the waters will provide Wise with greater name recognition if he does decide to return for his senior year. He also has the option of going overseas to play if he is undrafted and unsigned.
Returning to Arizona for his senior season would be in his best interests. He will be the unquestioned leader of a very young team. Working under Miller would also be advantageous.
Miller started four seasons at Point Guard for Pittsburgh from 1987-92 (medical redshirt in 1990) and led the Panthers to three NCAA Appearances during his tenure. He was the 1998 Big East Freshman of the year and left Pittsburgh as the all time assist leader and free throw percentage leader.
A return to Arizona for his senior season will mean Wise will have played for four coaches in four years. New coach Sean Miller mentioned Wise by name in his introductory news conference. Miller said, "I want our staff to not have to learn a system. I want our staff to be able to teach people like Nic Wise the system and eliminate that learning curve."
Before Miller was hired, it looked like he was going to have to be able to start his first season in Tucson with a slim roster. After one week on the job, Miller was able to secure two four-star recruits. The return of Wise would go a long way toward helping Miller field a team that would be able to challenge for a 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Wise will complete his coursework through the spring semester. He has until June 15 to withdraw his name from the draft eligible list and, by not signing with an agent and maintaining his coursework, he could return to college without losing eligibility.