May 4, 2012, 12:00 AM EDT
Read through the rest of our Early Entry breakdowns here.
Georgetown: The Hoyas are still going to be a good team in 2012-13. But with Jason Clark and Henry Sims graduating, John Thompson III really could have used Hollis Thompson as a leading option. But Thompson had the desire to go pro, leaving a young team led by rising sophomore Otto Porter. Thompson’s decision could be the difference between the Hoyas competing for a top four finish in the Big East and being a true Big East title contender with the likes of Louisville and Syracuse.
Oregon State: In a wide-open Pac-12 who knows how good Oregon State could be in 2012-13, as they performed well outside of the conference but couldn’t finish in the top half of the conference this season. But it would have been nice to find out with Jared Cunningham back for his senior season. The high-flyer decided to move on to the professional ranks however, meaning that the Beavers will need to account for the loss of a player who would have been a conference player of the year contender.
Villanova: 2011-12 wasn’t exactly a banner season for the Wildcats, but having a year of experience under their belts as “the guys” would have benefited both Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns. Alas both had a desire to help out their families financially, and they decided to go pro instead. Their departures put more on the shoulders of James Bell, Darrun Hilliard and Ty Johnson to produce in 2012-13, and the same goes for sophomore forward JayVaughn Pinkston.
Washington: It’s difficult to blame either Terrence Ross or Tony Wroten for their decisions to go pro, as both have the look of first round selections. But in a Pac-12 that has been down in recent years, their return would at the very least make the Huskies one of the names tossed around as a preseason favorite in the conference. Andrew Andrews will be a good addition and Washington does return Abdul Gaddy and C.J. Wilcox a healthy Scott Suggs too), but they could find themselves entering March on the bubble with Ross and Wroten moving on.
Weber State: Losing Damian Lillard wasn’t unexpected as draftniks feel that the Oakland native will be a first round choice in June’s draft. But his departure both highlights the opportunity the Wildcats missed out on this season and creates a gap between themselves and defending champion Montana. Randy Rahe’s team does return Scott Bamforth and Gelaun Wheelwright on the perimeter so they’ll be a factor in the Big Sky. But they could have been a lot more with Lillard back in Ogden.
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