2011 NBA Draft: Butler's Matt Howard and 5 Other College Stars Who Will Be Snubs
It has been a great year in college basketball. Stars have emerged, and we have seen some NBA future stars shine.
However, we have also seen some players emerge as fantastic college players, but they won't even get as much as a sniff in the pros.
The players on this list have proven to be talented players. If they were to get drafted or get a shot at making a team as a free agent, I would not be surprised, but of the 13 million mock drafts that are on the Internet these days, only few have had these players on them.
Matt Howard, Butler
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The 6'8" forward from Butler has helped the Bulldogs reach the Final Four two years in a row. Howard is a versatile big man who has proven to be one of the best competitors in the country.
Last season, Howard was the inside presence for Butler. He was able to play with his back to the basket and be a very important rebounder.
This season, Howard has been able to stretch his game out a little bit and showcase how versatile he really is. He averages 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds a game, but the stat that sticks out the most to me is his 43 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
A good showing in the Final Four could possibly get Howard drafted, but even then his draft status would still be up in the air. If a team does decide to take a chance on Howard, they will be presently surprised with the kid from Butler.
Josh Harrellson, Kentucky
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Josh Harrellson, a 6'10" big man for Kentucky, is a senior this year.
This has been the first year he's gotten significant playing time, and he's taken advantage of it.
On the year he's averaging just 7.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. In the NCAA tournament though, he's stepped his game up to a new level. Through five games, Harrellson has put up 14.75 points per game to go alongside nine rebounds.
Harrellson has been overshadowed by Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight this year, but he has managed to put up a very solid senior campaign and could have an impact in the NBA if he gets a shot somewhere.
Malcom Delaney, Virgina Tech
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Malcolm Delaney has had an unfortunate career at Virgina Tech. He's always shined as a great player, but never been fortunate enough to play on a great team. Maybe some of that blame should be on his shoulders, who knows.
Nonetheless, Delaney has had another outstanding season this year. He put up 18.7 points per game this year for the Hokies. He nearly led his team to the NCAA tournament, but had his bubble burst on Selection Sunday.
Delaney has been a bright spot for Virgina Tech. The proven scorer could play at the next level if he gets a shot, but unfortunately for Delaney, he might not get that shot.
Jackson Emery, BYU
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Yeah, that other guy.
Jackson Emery has been running mates with Jimmer Fredette the last three years. Together, they have played very well at BYU. By now everybody has heard about Fredette's abilities on the offensive side of the ball, but what people may not have heard is Emery's talents on the defensive side of the ball.
In other words, what Fredette meant to the BYU offense, Emery meant to the BYU defense.
The 6'3" guard averaged 12.5 points and 2.7 steals per game this season. He is the all-time steals leader at BYU. Game in and game out, Emery was tasked with guarding the opponent's most prolific guard; as a whole, he did a very good job.
Emery will not get a shot in the NBA though. He's too small and doesn't handle the ball as well as a pro guard should. He could make some noise playing professionally in Europe.
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
I hesitate to put Kalin Lucas on this list because I think he will surprise us come draft day. Regardless of what I think though, there is a lot of uncertainty pertaining to his draft status.
Lucas, a 6'1" senior, had his best season at Michigan State this year, averaging 17 points and more than three assists per game.
Lucas can score with the best of them; he had 11 games where he scored more than 20 points this year. The quick guard can get to the basket and has a solid shot from the three-point line. Had Michigan State not had such a disappointing season, Lucas would undoubtedly be in the discussion as a pro prospect.
Although he struggled with turnovers at times, Lucas is a solid player who deserves a chance.
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Jon Leuer stands at 6'10", and he played even bigger than that for Wisconsin this season. Averaging 18.3 points and more than seven rebounds per game, Leuer helped Wisconsin reach the Sweet 16 round of the tournament.
Leuer is a typical Big Ten-style big man. He can play the post very well, but can also stretch the defense and shoot the ball from long range.
Some mock drafts have Leuer going in the first round, some have him in the second and others don't have him being taken at all.
Leuer may not get a shot because he might not be quick or strong enough to make it at the next level. If he got a shot though, he could turn some heads in the NBA.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
As always, there are a lot of college basketball players who will never get a shot.
This list includes some of those whom I feel are top players, but without a doubt, I've missed some. If there are others you feel should be on this list as "Top Draft Snubs," feel free to leave a comment, and include that player's case for the NBA.