Knecht’s fall, Edey’s rise: College coaches respond to the NBA

  • Jeff Borzello, ESPN Personnel WriterJun 28, 2024, 03:00 PM ET


    • Basketball recruiting insider.
    • Joined ESPN in 2014.
    • Graduate of University of Delaware.The narrative

ahead of the 2024 NBA draft was that the talent pool was down relative to previous years. Adding to that, the first round was forecasted to be older– and bigger, height-wise– than it was in past seasons.Did Wednesday and

Thursday play out that way?ESPN spoke with a lots college coaches about a few of the important stories that emerged throughout the two-day event.According to several sources, the increased age and size of the first-round draft pool are correlated, and they are straight associated with a number of developments at the college level: name, image and likeness(NIL ); the additional year given to student-athletes since of the COVID-impacted 2020-21 season; and the increased prevalence of the transfer portal.Zach Edey, 22, spent 4 years at Purdue; Providence’s Devin Carter is 22; Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht is 23; and back-end first-rounders Dillon Jones (22), Baylor Scheierman(23)and Terrence Shannon Jr. (23)are all older than the average early draft pick.” All of college basketball is a bit older today,”one college coach said. “I do think that while college basketball is quite quickly going to begin getting younger once again

, the NBA– especially in the back half of the first round– appears to be more ready to prepare established guys that can make significant effects than taking bets on better long-term tasks.”Another coach said,”It’s simply the way college basketball is right now.”The age variety is anywhere between 18-24 years of ages. … The NBA draft is at the grace of what’s going on in the college landscape.”

Editor’s Picks 2 Associated As ESPN’s Jeremy Woo composed before the draft, as numerous as eight centers were forecasted as potential first-round picks in this year’s NBA draft, compared to simply one in 2023 and three in 2022.”

It speaks to the

copycat nature

of the league,”a college coach stated.” Edey was spoken about as a first-rounder out of no place after remaining in the 40s for 18 months, and after that he goes into workouts and dominates. It just takes one or two decision-makers or

influential people to turn opinion. It’s cyclical to a degree, and right now there’s a discussion about guys that can win in the [NBA] playoffs. “One NBA scout added,” Bigs have historically been pushed back to college basketball and now they’re earning money more than what they would make on a two-way [contract] Do they roll the dice and end up taking a two-way? Or do they take the cash from college?”

Many college coaches likewise concurred the talent level at the top was down, but the draft still had impressive depth through the rest of the first round and into the early part of the 2nd round.

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