There has been some talk here and there about Quincy Miller and what he will do next year. Does he follow the path that Perry Jones III took and come back for his sophomore year, or does he head off to the riches and wilds of the NBA?
What got me thinking about this was a story released today on the NBA draft, and what players stood where behind presumed #1 pick Anthony Davis. Below is the link.
In the article, Ben Glickman asks some questions about the draft and tries to answer them. Several of the questions highlight Baylor players, and what a good plan of action would be for them. I suggest reading the whole article, but we will only look at the sections where Baylor players are mentioned. First lets discuss Perry Jones III.
In the second question of the article, it asks who will go #2 behind Anthony Davis and he brings up Perry Jones III as an option, along with Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Thomas Robinson and Andre Drummond. In the end, he chooses Drummond due to being a true center, but says of PJ3 "Players like Drummond and Jones, unseasoned but ultra-athletic forwards, boast potential that could be too tantalizing to pass up.
The third question attacks Perry Jones III and his statistics, or lack of great statistics compared to conference rival Thomas Robinson. He leads off with this chart:
As mentioned above, however, production isn't the only factor in teams' decision-making. Despite Robinson's burgeoning Player of the Year candidacy and upstaging of Jones in both head-to-head meetings (Robinson outscored him a combined 42-23 in two Kansas blowouts), Jones' coveted 6-11 frame and All-Star acrobatics could prove more attractive in June.
"With Thomas Robinson, you kind of know what you're gonna get," said one of the scouts. "But with Perry Jones, his ceiling is so high. He'll make a three and then he'll dunk it in traffic. He's the sexier player, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's gonna be the better player three, six or eight years from now."
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," echoed the other scout. "Can you afford to take a risk on a guy like Perry Jones, or do you need somebody you know can step in right away?"
So you are telling me that NBA teams draft on potential. Shocking I know. Honestly, I see Thomas Robinson as a solid role player or an average starter on a championship team in the NBA. If he is your 4th or 5th best player, you are going to be okay.
With Perry though, he could be Kevin Garnett or he could be Tim Thomas. Such a wide range of possibilities. It all goes back to what I call the "badboy syndrome". All girls think they can tame the bad boy, just like all NBA teams think they can give the enigma a motor and get him to his full potential.
Alright, enough on Perry Jones III, lets talk a little Quincy Miller. Glickman's 5th point speaks about players that would benefit the most from coming back to school for another year.
5. Which player would benefit most by returning to school this year?
The obvious choice here is Drummond, whose skills, though improving, remain a far cry from NBA levels. He's been maddeningly inconsistent -- struggling as UConn lost six of its last seven games -- with scouts criticizing his offensive deficiencies.
"He's a project outside of five feet," one scout said. "Even if you draft him now, he's realistically a couple years away from helping you down the road."
Thing is, Drummond's frame (6-10, 270) and athleticism are exceptionally scarce, all but assuring a top-five selection. The more ideal candidate to return is Quincy Miller, Baylor's 6-9, 210-pound power forward still recovering from an ACL tear in December 2010. Though he's shown flashes of brilliance (20 points, 7-of-10 shooting in a Feb. 11 loss to Missouri), he's averaging a mere five rebounds despite his size, a sign that he's not fully comfortable since coming back from injury.
"Quincy Miller should come back for sure," said a scout. "He's very talented, but from a physical standpoint, hopefully he can regain some of that athletic ability. He looks like's he's still laboring and doesn't have the explosion or burst."
Music to Baylor fans ears. Everything I have read and heard reported suggests that Quincy Miller should come back to Baylor. I completely agree with it. I will say this though, I thought Perry should have gone last year, and I think he should make the jump this year as well.
As Bear fans, you just have to hope that when both of these supremely talented players make that jump to the NBA, that they are successful.