rakes_take_400It could be a double dose of bad news in March for Indiana basketball fans.

There’s the reality that an NCAA tournament bid might not be coming. There are still 11 league games and a conference tournament in your own backyard to help change the Hoosiers’ postseason fate. But as of now, this isn’t a team that will see their name announced in the field of 68.

But there’s something that could be even more of a certainty than the team’s postseason destination. And that’s Noah Vonleh’s pro future, which appears to be starting sooner than most Hoosier fans would have hoped for heading into the season.

A quick check of numerous NBA draft websites and experts show Vonleh all but certain to hear his name called early in the first round if he elects to leave after just one year in Bloomington. In examining six different sites (ESPN, CBSSports, SI, Bleacher Report, NBADraft.net, and DraftExpress.com), only one had Vonleh being taken outside of the lottery, with NBADraft.net slotting Vonleh at 16th in their latest mock draft from two weeks ago. DraftExpress.com had Vonleh projected as the eighth overall selection, with the remaining mock drafts placing the talented freshman somewhere between ninth and 13th in the opening round.

Guaranteed contracts go to any player taken in the first round. For the sake of determining the amount of money Vonleh could make in his first NBA contract, let’s average the potential draft positions listed in the above paragraph. The average slot listed above would be the 11th pick of the opening round, which last year, was good for two years guaranteed at a total of $4.5 million, with three additional years as part of team options and a qualifying offer worth an additional $10 million.

It would be awfully hard to turn that down, wouldn’t it?

This year’s draft class is thought to be one of the deeper talent pools in recent memory. In other years, Vonleh’s status might have been even higher, and this decision might have been even more of a certainty.

In terms of analyzing Vonleh as a player, could he use an additional year of seasoning to become more NBA ready? Of course he could. Knowing that his primary skill set at the start of his pro career will be as a rebounder and shot blocker due his great length, another year to mature physically would be a benefit. And the offensive game is certainly a work in progress, yet Vonleh’s stats now are pretty solid. He’s shooting 54 percent from the field, and has been effective while be judicious from three point range, making 10 of 18 this year. Plus, I’m a big fan of any big man that can make free throws, of which Vonleh has done to the tune of connecting on 72 percent of attempts at the line this year.

What’s been most impressive about Vonleh to me is the consistency he has shown throughout the year. As he was compiling double-doubles in bunches during non-conference play, I wondered if he could keep the same pace in league action. He has. In fact, Vonleh’s overall season averages in points and rebounds are virtually identical for the season and in Big Ten games only. The points per game average is at 12 for both, and the rebound numbers have gone up slightly, 9.7 during league play, while at 9.6 for the season in its entirety.

And in the last three league games, Vonleh has averaged 13 rebounds a night. He might have only scored four points against an Illinois team that threw a zone at the Hoosiers for a large chunk of yesterday’s win, yet he was a major factor in the game by snaring 14 rebounds. For the struggles Indiana has had this season, rebounding has not been one of them. The Hoosiers are outboarding opponents by 10.9 rebounds a game, good for fourth-best in Division I. The difference was plus-13 in favor of Indiana against the Illini, with the visitors claiming just four offensive rebounds in the game.

Could Vonleh return for one more year in Bloomington? Of course, Cody Zeller turned down a high draft position to play as a sophomore a season ago. Then again, Zeller returned in part because he’s a home-state kid and that group has aspirations of winning a national championship. There will be improvement expected a season from now in Bloomington, but I don’t think anyone is planning on a 2015 banner being added to Assembly Hall’s collection next spring.

The highest profile player to return to college hoops last year was Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, and his draft status is likely about the same as it was last year, likely taken somewhere around pick number five. His Cowboys are 16-3, and should be poised to make a deep tournament run. Coming back for an additional season appears not to have helped his draft status, but doesn’t appear to have cost him any draft positions, either.

You can’t blame Vonleh if the pull of the NBA is simply too strong. Yes, the game still needs some work, but they’ll pay for that skill development at the next level. I doubt if this was the plan going in, but the number on the uniform for Vonleh could indicate the number of years he spends in Bloomington.

Tags

 
 

8 Responses to Noah’s arc taking him to the NBA

  1. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to death at work so
    I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using
    WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, superb blog!

  2. of course like your web site but you need to test the spelling on several of your posts.
    A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth on the other hand I’ll definitely come
    back again.

    my site :: Eternity Warriors 3 Hack [https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=422271521251183&id=475166602605524&stream_ref=10]

  3. Fastidious response in return of this question with real arguments and explaining all
    regarding that.

    My weblog; Eternity Warriors 3 Hack [pinterest.com]

  4. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed
    in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but
    I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

    Stop by my site :: Castle Clash Hack (http://imgur.com)

  5. Unquestionably believe that which you stated.
    Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing
    without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.
    Thanks

    Also visit my weblog; Drag Racing Hack (http://www.pinterest.com)

  6. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

    Look into my blog – Despicable Me Minion Rush Hack (http://bit.ly)

  7. Hey there! I’ve been following your weblog for a
    while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the good job!

  8. This paragraph offers clear idea in favor of the new people of
    blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.

    Here is my website; watch or download chef

Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>