WHEN THE NBA draft rolls around on June 23 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., expect it to go something like this:
Duke's Kyrie Irving will be the first player taken. After that, Arizona's Derrick Williams will be selected. Either that, or the other way around.
After those two are selected, a bunch of players from Kentucky and Kansas will be taken. (What's new, eh?)
Then anticipate much hoopla over when Jimmer Fredette will be selected.
Somewhere in there, players from international clubs - which you neither know nor can pronounce - will be taken.
And then the rest of the Kentucky and Kansas guys will be mopped up.
You can bank on it. (And, yes, I'm calling the bank.)
In regard to Big East players, Connecticut's Kemba Walker will undoubtedly be the highest selection. Otherwise, there will be a few sprinkled among the 60 picks over the two rounds. Marquette's Jimmy Butler is receiving some love. Same with Providence's Marshon Brooks, Pittsburgh's Gilbert Brown and Brad Wannamaker as well as Syracuse's Rick Jackson. Notre Dame's Ben Hansbrough is getting a few love taps.
A few Big East players, however, are "testing the waters" (when players apply to the NBA draft early without hiring an agent, they are always "testing the waters") and finding said waters chilly.
One appears to be West Virginia's Kevin Jones.
Under NCAA rules, student-athletes can test those "waters" once without jeopardizing their eligibility. Jones, you may know, decided to do so. The NCAA, however, legislated a short window to make a call. Those deciding to return must do so on or before May 8 - this Sunday.
The disheartening news for Jones is he didn't receive an invitation for this weekend's showcase for draft-eligible players.
The New Jersey Nets are playing host to a combine of sorts this weekend in which 44 draft-eligible players will gather at the team's facility and be measured, skill-tested and participate in competition. Coaches and executives from 26 NBA teams are expected to attend.