While recruiting will likely consume the bulk of our offseason coverage, the first hump we need to get over is the NBA Draft. This season, the major headline is Kelly Olynyk. The former redshirt-turned star-turned All-American is high on everyone's draft board but he has yet to publicly state his intentions for the future. That obviously won't stop the speculation and today, Chad Ford updated his mock draft which has Olynyk as the 16th best prospect in the draft should he elect to come out. Ford also included this blurb about the Gonzaga All-American:
There's nothing really new to report on Olynyk except that Gonzaga's second-round loss to Wichita State doesn't look so bad after the Shockers did the same thing to LaSalle and Ohio State. We are waiting for Olynyk to officially declare, but multiple sources believe he'll be in the 2013 draft.
We obviously have no idea who Ford's sources are but he has historically been very keyed in to who is staying and who is going. Personally, I've heard far more rumblings that Kelly will forego his senior season than the other way around.
At this point, I have seen Kelly projected in the 15-20 range of the first round. With his size and skill set, there will be a number of teams in the mid-first round that will be able to take a chance on selecting a guy that has the skill to score from anywhere on the court. The test will be whether or not teams buy in to the physicality aspect as it relates to defending and rebounding. In the NBA, teams are far more likely to opt for a guy that can do three or four things well vs. a guy that can just do one thing very well.
This story will develop over time and it will all be a bunch of rumors until it comes from Kelly's mouth but I'm mentally preparing for a very different looking team next year that operates from the outside in with talented guards and relatively inexperienced post players. It will put a lot of pressure on Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell, Kyle Dranginis, Gerard Coleman, and company to perform at a high level but, if Kelly does leave, I think they will be up to the task.