NBA Draft Declaration Day: Texas, Tennessee Lose Big

Mike HendersonCorrespondent IIMay 9, 2011

NBA Draft Declaration Day: Texas, Tennessee Lose Big

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts after a play against the Connecticut Huskies during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Hou
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The final deadline for remaining in the NBA draft has come and gone and while there were some unexpected returnees earlier (see North Carolina), some teams were left with some serious questions heading into the 2011-12 season.

    Others received some good news regarding key players that will at least help them maintain a solid foundation moving forward.

    Not including the likes of Sullinger, Jones III, Zeller, Barnes and Henson, who maintained early that they would return to school, here is a look at 10 others who made their decisions late and the potential impact their decisions could make.

Ashton Gibbs, Pitt Panthers

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    WASHINGTON - MARCH 19:  Ashton Gibbs #12 of the Pittsburgh Panthers puts up a shot over Ronald Nored #5 of the Butler Bulldogs during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Verizon Center on March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. Butle
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    This is a huge boost for the Panthers who lose Brad Wanamaker, Gary McGhee and Gilbert Brown.

    Not only is Gibbs the lone remaining backcourt offensive threat, but he will provide some much-needed leadership to a Pitt team that will be much younger this season.

    The fact that they are younger doesn't mean they are less talented but with the return of Gibbs, they will have someone to steer the ship.

2. Terrence Jones, Kentucky Wildcats

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Tyler Olander #10 of the Connecticut Huskies goes to the hoop against Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on Ap
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Jones was easily one of the best freshmen getting out of the gate last season.

    However, he faded somewhat as the season progressed, partly because other teams adjusted to him favouring his left hand and partly because he was asked to assume a more secondary role in the offense.

    Regardless, Jones is a big-time athlete who can rebound as well as score.

    Whether or not his scoring numbers increase depends on whether he, Anthony Davis and Mike Gilchrist can share the ball.

    If this happens, look for Jones to be a force at both ends of the court.

3. Shelvin Mack, Butler Bulldogs

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  Shelvin Mack #1 of the Butler Bulldogs with the ball while taking on Connecticut Huskies during the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston,
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    After appearing in two consecutive national championship games, what is left to accomplish? (Okay, winning the title is too obvious.)

    Mack made the decision to stay in the draft and end his career with the Bulldogs. A leader at both ends of the floor for coach Brad Stevens, Mack is projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick.

    This leaves a huge void, offensively and in terms of leadership for Butler, as Matt Howard (graduation) is also gone.

    As well as Brad Stevens has done to this point in his career, he must now rebuild the Bulldogs. 

    And this will be his toughest challenge yet.

4. Tristan Thompson, Texas Longhorns

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    TULSA, OK - MARCH 20:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats goes up for a shot against Tristan Thompson #13 of the Texas Longhorns during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklaho
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Of the three early defections from the Longhorns, this one could hurt the most.

    With the departure of Jordan Hamilton, who also stayed in the draft, and Gary Johnson (graduation), Texas will have to completely revamp their front line.

    Thompson had much to gain by staying in college for at least one more season. Defensively, he is active, can rebound and blocks shots. His offensive game is not polished. Apparently, he liked what he heard from evaluations. Couple that with his obvious athleticism and he realized that there were teams that were willing to look at him now.

    I can't help but think he looked ahead to next year's draft as well. Some big name players who stayed in college will be declaring, as well as some potential one-and-dones from this year's freshman crop.

    For Thompson, it may have been the best decision. For the Longhorns, it stings.

5. Cory Joseph, Texas Longhorns

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    TULSA, OK - MARCH 18:  Cory Joseph #5 of the Texas Longhorns drives with the ball against Keith Benson #34 of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklah
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    This was a little bit surprising.

    Joseph had decent numbers as a freshman, but nothing that jumped out at most observers.

    Similar to former Longhorn Avery Bradley, Joseph looked to be headed in the direction of the NBA, but was likely at least a year off.

    However, also similarly to Bradley, Joseph was probably looking in the direction of next season's potential draft and thought that his chances at a higher selection this year were at a premium.

    Again, probably good for Joseph. Not so much for Texas.

6. Tobias Harris, Tennessee Volunteers

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Tobias Harris #12 of the Tennessee Volunteers dunks the ball while taking on the Michigan Wolverines in the first half during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18,
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Although it was no surprise, Harris' decision to stay in the draft has dealt a blow to the Volunteers program in the short term.

    Harris is a versatile player who has great potential, likely as a three, in the NBA. The turmoil that was Tennessee this year was likely the impetus, or at least some of the reason that Harris won't be returning.

    But that's not it for the Volunteers because...

7. Scotty Hopson, Tennessee Volunteers

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    ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 11:  Scotty Hopson #32 of the Tennessee Volunteers goes up for a shot in front of Patric Young #4 of the Florida Gators during the quarterfinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at Georgia Dome on March 11, 2011 in Atlanta, Georg
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Hopson is also staying in the draft.

    The Vols leading-scorer has also ended his career with Tennessee, leaving new coach Cuonzo Martin without his top two scorers and facing potential sanctions regarding former coach Bruce Pearl's, uh, indiscretions.

    Again, it wasn't a surprising decision, just one that Vols' fans hoped wouldn't be made.

8. Carleton Scott, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20:  Carleton Scott #34 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish shoots against Michael Snaer #21 of the Florida State Seminoles in the first half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on Marc
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    This one is more than a little puzzling as well.

    Scott has great length and range, and at 6'9" will likely be a three, or even a two-guard, if and when he plays in the Association.

    The timing, I suppose, is better for Scott this year than it might be next, but it is hard to imagine him being any higher than a mid second-round pick. Even that might be optimistic.

    It does hurt the Irish though. Despite the team listing a virtual all-senior cast last season, Scott and Scott Martin both have eligibility remaining, which would have meant no huge rebuilding for Mike Brey.

    Now Brey loses another important piece from last year's tough Big East runner-up.

9. Jeremy Green, Stanford Cardinal

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09:  Jeremy Green #45 of the Stanford Cardinal has his last second shot attempt blocked by Jared Cunningham #1 of the Oregon State Beavers as the Cardinal lost to the Beavers 69-67 in the first round of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    This one doesn't seem to be mentioned as prominently as some others, but for west coast fans, particularly in Stanford, California, it means a lot.

    The Cardinal's leading scorer stayed in the draft, making a young Cardinal team even younger, and adding at least another year to Johnny Dawkins' rebuilding plan.

    Although the potential remains, the Cardinal will be lacking in leadership until one of the young guns steps up to fill that role.

10. Jordan Williams, Maryland Terrapins

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    GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11:  Jordan Williams #20 of the Maryland Terrapins shoots against Mason Plumlee #5 and Miles Plumlee #21 of the Duke Blue Devils during the first half in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensbor
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Someone tell me that Williams' decision to stay in the draft had nothing to do with Williams' decision to step down as coach. Or vice-versa. The timing just seemed too right.

    I'm listening.