Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Samardo Samuels In Draft For Good

Samardo Samuels has surprised a lot of people with the news that he's hiring an agent and leaving for the NBA Draft. Samuels came into Louisville a very highly touted recruit, and after a disappointing start he really came on in the second half of the 2009-10 season. His performances were a big reason why Louisville snuck into the NCAA Tournament. That said, he still has some developing to do, and he's projected at best a late second round Draft pick. Most people don't think he'll be drafted at all. If I were an NBA team I'd take a shot on him late in the second round and I'd stash him in the D-League, but nowadays most teams prefer to use those late picks on European players that they can leave with their European teams for a couple of years until they're ready, because teams love having prospects they don't have to pay for.

That all said, the real question for this blog is what this will do to Louisville, and it's going to be devastating. They lose their starting backcourt of Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith, meaning that they'll be very thin at the guard position. In my 2010-11 Big East preview I said that while I didn't think they'd contend for the Big East title, I thought they'd make the NCAA Tournament because they'd be so good in the frontcourt. The loss of Samuels changes all of that. There will be a lot of pressure on the freshman class just to get them back to the Tournament. In my opinion, they're a bubble team right now.

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