Tudor: Who will go pro from the ACC?

Who's in line for NBA draft?

Staff WriterMarch 7, 2012 

Who goes pro? Who stays in school?

Those questions have become as much a part of the March college basketball culture as office pools and buzzer beaters.

In the ACC, 13 of the top 15 vote-getters for all-conference 2012 are non-seniors. Some of those are likely to declare for the June 28 NBA Draft in Newark, N.J.

Non-seniors have until April 29 to enter the draft. But in order to maintain their college eligibility, they have to withdraw before May 9.

In 2011, five ACC non-seniors were drafted, including Duke freshman guard Kyrie Irving as No. 1 overall by Cleveland.

Over the past 25 years, the ACC averaged roughly four first-round picks per draft. That trend will continue this season, but only if two or three non-seniors leave.

Here's my guess at the 10 non-seniors most likely to exit:

1. Terrell Stoglin, So., Maryland: Probably not a first rounder, perhaps not even a second rounder. But Stoglin is a quick playmaker who can create, shoot and seems to have no desire to spend another season in the same building with Mark Turgeon.

2. Glen Rice Jr., Jr., Georgia Tech: A wing guard with limited ball-handling skills, Rice is much more of a long shot to get drafted than Stoglin. But Rice's relationship with Jackets coach Brian Gregory is such that Rice might as well declare, make the rounds and hope for a miracle.

3. Harrison Barnes, So., UNC: He hasn't yet really evolved into the multi-faceted explosive natural scorer that some fans expected, but Barnes can spot shoot and should develop more creativity given the NBA's anti hand-checking policy.

4. Austin Rivers, Fr., Duke: There's no question that he could benefit enormously from another year to mature and develop better defensive instincts and ball-handling traits. But the NBA is in Rivers' genes.

5. John Henson, Jr., UNC: It's hard to believe that he's added almost 30 pounds to a frame that's still spider-like. NBA power forwards will push Henson around for a while, maybe a couple of seasons. He could use another season to get stronger and work on his shot. But like Barnes and Rivers, he'd be a near lock to go in the first half of the first round.

6. C.J. Leslie, So., N.C. State: Odds are the lanky forward will leave. But considering the way he's improved under the guidance of Mark Gottfried's staff, Leslie could be a lottery pick with more seasoning. He'll need a big postseason performance to feel fully secure about going in the first round.

7. Reggie Johnson, Jr., Miami: At 6-10 and 275 pounds, Johnson may still be carrying too much weight for an 82-game schedule, but his quickness has improved to the extent that he'd find a pro roster spot.

8. Kendall Marshall, So., UNC: There's no doubt that Marshall would be among the first point guards selected and a lock to go no later than the middle of the first round. If Henson and Barnes both leave, odds are Marshall will join them. If one of the forwards returns, it would be easy to see Marshall giving college another season.

9. C.J. Harris, Jr., Wake Forest: If Harris were 6-6 rather than 6-3, he'd be rated in the same top-10 category with Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb. Harris is under most fans' radar, but pro scouts see him as one of the best pure shooters in the nation. Still, 6-3 is short by wing-guard standards. He'll need to move with caution.

10. Kenny Kadji, So., Miami: In the NBA, Kadji could be a 6-11 wing forward. There aren't many of those around. His outside shooting production has been among the season's biggest surprises.

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