Every year, in every draft, there’s a player or two or four who falls farther than expected. Whether it’s a projected Top-5 pick who sticks around until the double-digits, a Green Room guy who stays in the arena longer than everyone else, or a first-round talent who drops to the second, it’s an annual tradition.
Then there are those guys who wait by the phone all night and never hear their name. This year’s most notable snubs…
A.J. Abrams, PG/SG, Texas — Classic ‘tweener; two-guard’s game with point guard’s size. His best bet was that somebody would take a chance on him being another Eddie House, but even those chances were very slim. In the tradition of Hollis Price and Drew Nicholas, he’ll make a nice living overseas if he wants to.
Jeff Adrien, PF, UConn — The heart of soul of UConn’s Final Four squad is undersized for an NBA power forward and his game isn’t very polished even though he’s a four-year player.
Alade Aminu, PF, Georgia Tech — No worries: His little brother Al-Farouq (Wake Forest) will be a Lottery pick whenever he decides to go pro, then Alade can do the live-in manager thing.
Dionte Christmas, SG, Temple — “Tough” is a given for any guy that goes to Temple, but Dionte can actually get buckets, too. He’s a streaky shooter, though, and doesn’t blow you away with his athleticism. One of those dime-a-dozen shooting guards.
Eric Devendorf, PG, Syracuse — The parallels to Gerry McNamara’s career continue, including not getting drafted.
Micah Downs, SF, Gonzaga — You could make an argument that Austin Daye wasn’t even the best small forward on his team. Downs can play, but may have been hurt by his reputation for being a spoiled brat with a meddlesome stage dad.
Daniel Hackett, PG, USC — Should have gone back to school, but USC is about as appealing as a Serbian prison for players right now.
Paul Harris, SG/SF, Syracuse — Strong as a forward and plays like a forward, only he’s 6-4 and should be a guard.
Josh Heytvelt, PF, Gonzaga — Probably the only prospect who had to answer questions about mushrooms in his pre-draft interviews.
Joe Ingles, SG, Australia — At one point, the 6-8 shooter was considered a first-round prospect. He gave Team USA buckets for a minute last summer, then fell out of the spotlight.
Dominic James, PG, Marquette
Wesley Matthews, SG, Marquette
Jerel McNeal, SG, Marquette
Of the Marquette trio, McNeal probably has the best shot of landing on an NBA roster in the near future. He’s an elite defender who developed into a solid scorer within the last year.
Curtis Jerrells, PG, Baylor — Multi-talented strong athlete pulled off the rare college triple-double (17 pts, 11 rebs, 10 asts vs. Hartford) this season. Could be a star overseas.
Nate Miles, SG, Southern Idaho — The guy at the center of UConn’s recent recruiting controversy.
Luke Nevill, C, Utah — The worst-case scenario Tyler Hansbrough had nightmares about. Nevill was honorable mention All-American as a senior, Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and MWC Defensive P.O.Y. Not to mention he’s 7-foot-2. He got kind of dominated by Jordan Hill in the NCAA Tournament, though.
Jeremy Pargo, PG, Gonzaga — Jannero’s little brother is an explosive athlete with Chicago playground roots.
Tyrese Rice, PG, Boston College — He’ll always have the night where he gave North Carolina 46 points in his junior year.
Josh Shipp, SG, UCLA — The poor man’s Rick Fox, in game and appearance.
Ronald Steele, PG, Alabama — A couple years ago, Steele was a projected Lottery pick. Then knee injuries got in the way, and he never really recovered.
Dar Tucker, SG, DePaul — Left after his sophomore year, bouncing too early on a promising college career.
Ben Woodside, PG, North Dakota State — The Rudy Ruettiger of the draft could use a Charles S. Dutton pep talk right about now.