There were 80 college underclassmen who declared for the NBA draft last week and more than 30 of them have already either signed with an agent or are a lock to do so.There are about a dozen or so more — like Northern Arizona’s Cameron Jones, Lipscomb’s Adnan Hodzic, Winston-Salem State’s Paul Davis and UMass’ Anthony Gurley — who are no-brainers to return to college.But we’ll go through 10 guys who are legitimately on the fence and what they should do as Saturday’s deadline nears for them to withdraw from the draft.— Jeff Goodman
Dee Bost and Ravern Johnson (pictured), Mississippi State
I’m hearing that one of these guys may stay in the draft and it would be a major mistake for either. Neither one is going in the first round for certain and I’d be shocked if either were picked at all.
Jimmer Fredette, BYU
I don’t see Fredette’s stock changing much from this season to next year, so he may as well come back and finish out his career on a high note and try and take BYU deep into the tourney.
Dominique Jones, South Florida
I’m not sure that the unconventional junior wing can do much better than he did this past season. However, the key is whether the Bulls could make a legit NCAA tourney run with Jones and a healthy Gus Gilchrist all season. If I were Jones, I’d strike while it’s hot and go.
Manny Harris, Michigan
From everything I’ve been told, Harris is likely history in Ann Arbor. The sad part is his stock is about as low as it could be both with Michigan’s lack of success last season and Harris struggling for much of the season as well. To me, Harris should come back for another season and try and solidify a spot in the first round.
Darington Hobson, New Mexico
This one is difficult because Hobson has bounced around so much in his life that part of me says he should take advantage after a terrific season with the Lobos. However, the other side tells me he’ll keep New Mexico on the national radar and will put up similar numbers as he did last season. I keep going back and forth, but I think Hobson should take a shot at the pros because even if he doesn’t go in the first round, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t get an NBA gig.
Arnett Moultrie, UTEP
No matter what you think of new UTEP coach Tim Floyd, he’s a terrific Xs and Os guy and he will make Moultrie far more NBA-ready if he sticks around this season. Moultrie is a skilled big man who doesn’t always bring it every night and could use another season to work on his consistency. Plus, he’ll get more opportunities with Derrick Caracter gone.
Avery Bradley, Texas
We’re hearing it’s basically done that Bradley remains in the NBA Draft – and to be honest, if he’s a first-rounder (which I’m hearing will be the case from multiple NBA guys), he should leave Austin. Personally, I think he’s a terrific college player – but I'm not sure where he fits in the NBA because ultimately he’s a 6-foot-2 shooting guard who is only an average shooter.
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
Johnson is a coin flip right now, but he needs another year to increase his strength and also is hurt by the abundance of big bodies in this year’s draft. I just don’t see the junior center going in the first round this year while that could be the case a year from now, especially since the Boilermakers will likely contend for the Final Four.
Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky
The athletic freshman guard was, at one time, a virtual lock to stay in the NBA Draft. Now there are whispers that it’s not quite done. My take on this one is unless John Calipari can assure him he’ll have the ball in his hands most of the time (which he can’t), then he should remain in the draft. With the addition of Brandon Knight in Lexington, that’s not going to happen. Bledsoe is a lock first-rounder and should take advantage.
Gordon Hayward, Butler
This is perhaps the most difficult decision of all. Hayward helped lead the Bulldogs to the national championship game and is a lock first-rounder – possibly even a lottery pick. If he returns, Butler will have a chance to return to the Final Four. However, there are no guarantees (just ask Craig Brackins) and my advice to Hayward would be to remain in the draft.