It's no secret that college basketball coaches and NBA front offices value different things when it comes to building a team. As one coach told me, "The NBA likes the unknown and birth certificates," meaning a prospect's untapped potential and young age hold more value in many cases than the track record of an older, established player. With a maximum four-year window for player development, college coaches much prefer someone who can help a team win now.
One doesn't need to look any further than the fact that three first-team All-Americans were drafted in the second round of this year's NBA draft, while the three players atop the transfer rankings earlier this spring -- Kofi Cockburn, Marcus Carr and Remy Martin -- all initially entered the draft before returning to school after realizing they likely wouldn't be picked. The early 2021-22 Wooden Award favorite Drew Timme wasn't projected to be selected, either.
But the different evaluation objectives do lead to interesting perspectives from college coaches about NBA draft prospects and picks -- and so that's what we sought out over the past few days.