Top 5 Early Entrants That Should Return to School

Gary LloydSenior Analyst IApril 22, 2008

You see it every year. College players who should go pro, go. Others who shouldn't go pro, go.

Wouldn't it be nice if some players decided against the NBA and played one more season collegiately? This does not include Roy Hibbert, of course, who has lost millions in the last year.

But, of the early entrants as of today, these ensuing five players should make the wise choice to return to school.

5. Richard Hendrix, Alabama Power Forward: Right now, Hendrix is projected to go anywhere from the late first round to the mid second round. A better projection will be available after Hendrix competes at the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. Individually, he's coming off a season in which he averaged a double-double, leading the SEC in rebounding. However, the Tide had an abysmal season and should be a very solid squad next year. With a better team comes more solid exposure for Hendrix, who would move up draft boards if he puts up big numbers yet again, but for a winning team.

4. J.J. Hickson, North Carolina State Power Forward: Heck of a season Hickson had as a freshman, but in no way is he one of the lottery-quality youngsters. He is likely a first-round pick (maybe early second), but he should return to a Wolfpack team that will hopefully win more than four games in the ACC in 2008-09. He has the potential to average a double-double in the ACC next season and skyrocket his stock for next year's draft.

3. Derrick Caracter, Louisville Power Forward: Caracter should return to build his character, but it is highly doubtful. In a late March press conference, Caracter said, "I'm definitely not coming back." If Caracter desires any shot at being a first-rounder, he should return to Coach Pitino and learn to play the game the right way. Hate to say it, but Caracter could be seeing Europe his first couple of professional seasons.

2. Trent Plaisted, Brigham Young Power Forward/Center: Plaisted will not hire an agent, so his return to BYU is likely, and that's exactly what he should do. He plays in the Mountain West Conference, so exposure is certainly lacking. He put up great numbers as a junior, but like the aforementioned forwards, he could increase his draft stock for next year with a return.

1. Jamont Gordon, Mississippi State Guard: If he goes back to school, he's the SEC Player of the Year. He's one of those guards that isn't a definite point guard or shooting guard, raising question marks among NBA officials. Gordon, however, said he intends to go through with the draft if he remains injury free, despite not hiring an agent.