KU, UK now co-favorites

KU, UK now co-favorites

KU, UK now co-favorites
By Brian Edwards

The deadline for college players withdrawing from the NBA Draft came and went Monday. The big winners included Notre Dame, Tennessee and Maryland, while the losers were Kentucky, Wake Forest and Gonzaga.

With Jodie Meeks opting to stay in the draft despite not being given a first-round guarantee, the Wildcats are no longer the ‘chalk’ to win the 2009-2010 national championship at Sportsbook.com. Instead, the ‘Cats are the co-favorites along with Kansas with plus-500 odds (risk $100 to win $500).
   
As we mentioned recently, UK was the plus-500 favorite before Meeks decided against coming back to Lexington to play for John Calipari. At that time, Kansas had the second-shortest odds (+600), but that number was reduced Monday.

Meeks' departure will mean more playing time for UK's Darius Miller and incoming freshman Eric Bledsoe. John Wall will be the starting point guard, but we can expect to see Calipari playing Bledsoe and Wall, both of whom are natural point guards, at the same time on occasion.

Remember, Patrick Patterson elected to withdraw from the draft a few weeks back. With the return of Perry Stevenson and the addition of DeMarcus Cousins, UK will have an excellent frontcourt.

Austin Daye’s decision to go pro will hurt Gonzaga, especially since it’s clear that his tooth-pick frame isn’t nearly ready to cut it in the NBA. Daye averaged 12.7 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore for the Bulldogs, who have plus-3000 future odds at Sportsbook.com.

Jeff Teague parlayed a terrific sophomore season at Wake Forest into what appears to be his selection in the upcoming lottery. According to NBADraft.net’s latest mock draft, Teague will go 10th to Milwaukee.

Luke Harangody would’ve probably been a second-round pick, so he decided to return to Notre Dame. That’s a huge break for Mike Brey’s program. The Irish are 100/1 longshots to win it all.

Maryland caught a big break when Greivis Vasquez withdrew from the draft and decided against going overseas. Vasquez did it all for the Terrapins in 2008-2009, averaging 17.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

Tennessee’s Tyler Smith was also giving some thought to going overseas just like Clemson’s Terrence Oglesby and Florida’s Nick Calathes. However, Smith is rejoining Bruce Pearl’s Vols, who have a 60/1 odds to win the national championship.

All of the news for USC basketball has been bad in recent weeks and Monday was no different. As expected. Taj Gibson stayed in the draft.

Florida may benefit from the Trojans’ woes. In desperate need for a point guard, the Gators have their eyes on USC signee Lamont “Mo Mo” Jones, who was recently released from his letter of intent. Jones, an NYC product who went to Oak Hill Academy and is ranked 88th in the 2009 class by ESPN.com, is reportedly (per the Gainesville Sun) leaning to UF over Arizona.

When Calathes bolted to sign with a team in Greece, Billy Donovan was left with just one true point guard in the program, rising sophomore Erving Walker. Jai Lucas left UF before the 2008-2009 campaign due to Calthes’ presence. Lucas landed at Texas.

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