Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Gibbs, Lee, Williams to Test Waters, But Window is Small
Pittsburgh guard Ashton Gibbs, UCLA guard Malcolm Lee and Maryland forward Jordan Williams will all test the NBA waters but none has hired an agent.
“Entering the NBA Draft,” the 6-foot-2 Gibbs, who averaged 16.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists for a Pittsburgh team that won the Big East regular season crown but was upset by No. 8 Butler, 71-70, in the second round of the NCAA tournament, told SNY.tv exclusively Tuesday morning by text.
Gibbs hasn’t yet completed the paperwork to enter the draft and has until April 24 to do so.
All three players can return to campus if they don’t hire an agent and withdraw their names by the May 8 deadline.
The problem is that there is only one full weekend — April 30/May 1 — available for college players to work out for NBA teams because they aren’t allowed to miss school to do so.
“In reality there was almost no ability to be able to get around and really test the waters in front of NBA teams [last year],” one scout with a Western Conference power said.
“The window of time is small and then they also say you’re not able to miss any class. Those kids aren’t allowed to jeopardize their NCAA eligibility if they miss class to go visit any NBA teams.
“What other college student has a limitation on where they can’t miss class to interview for a job? If you miss class to go interview with NBA teams, they take eligibility away from you.”
Lee, a 6-5 junior, finished second on the Bruins in scoring at 13.1 points per game and was fourth in rebounding at 3.1 rpg.
“After consulting with my family and some of my mentors, I have decided to enter the 2011 NBA Draft without hiring an agent,” Lee said. “I’m currently in rehabilitation on my knee and trying to get back to 100 percent so I can start working out and I’ll see where it goes from there.”
The 6-10 Williams, a sophomore from Torrington, Conn., averaged 16.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for the Terrapins.
“We support Jordan in his efforts to see where he stands in regards to the NBA Draft,” coach Gary Williams said.
“I’m excited about testing the waters and seeing where I would be,” Williams said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play at the next level. This will give me an opportunity to get feedback from some NBA coaches and scouts on what parts of my game need improvement in order to be successful.”
Unfortunately, it sounds like that feedback could be limited.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.