When Kentucky squares off against Michigan in Sunday’s Midwest Regional final, the Wildcats may be looking for their 16th Final Four appearance without a big part of their lineup, center Willie Cauley-Stein, who is doubtful to play because of a sprained ankle. Even if Cauley-Stein is done for the season, it is unlikely to affect his draft stock, writes Josh Newman of SNY.tv. He is currently slotted No. 12 in June’s NBA Draft by Draft Express. “An ankle sprain, it’s nothing. He will be a top-20 pick regardless of him playing another college game. He could be a Lottery pick if he stayed another year at Kentucky,” a former NBA executive told SNY.tv per the article.
More from around the league:
- The staff at Basketball Insiders takes a look at the three teams, the Bulls, Magic, and Bucks, they believe are poised to make a significant jump in the standings next season.
- Louisville’s Russ Smith is most likely going to be a second-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft. He could find a niche on a bench somewhere and maybe even land a starting job over time, if he continues to progress as a point guard, writes Adi Joseph of USA Today.
- Drew Sharp of The Detroit Free Press examines what factors in the college game might influence Michigan State coach Tom Izzo to consider a move to the NBA. Sharp cites the increasing frequency of one-and done players, which Izzo isn’t big on recruiting, the rise of rival Michigan, and several rule changes that are negating the Spartans defensive strategies as the main reasons.
- Tom Izzo has never stated he wouldn’t leave Michigan State, just that he wasn’t thinking about it, writes Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Wolstat points to a lack of strong recruits coming in next year and to three top MSU players leaving this summer, as reasons Izzo might leave. He thinks Izzo has geared up for “one last run” and will strongly consider the Pistons head coaching position.