Posted April 16, 2014

Where do Parker, Randle, Wiggins rank among freshmen in one-and-done era?

Freshmen watch, Jabari Parker, One-and-done
Jabari Parker, Duke Blue Devils

Jabari Parker was the only freshman to earn first-team AP All-America honors this season. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

This week has already seen a flurry of NBA draft decisions by top collegians who elected to either remain in school (Kentucky’s Willie-Cauley-Stein and Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell) or leave for the pros (Arizona’s Nick Johnson, Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III and Michigan State’s Gary Harris,). But college basketball’s most impactful stay-or-go decision has yet to be made public. Jabari Parker will either come back to Duke for next season and in so doing turn the Blue Devils into a prohibitive national title favorite, or he’ll move along to the NBA and battle for a spot near the very top of the draft board.

DAVIS: With or without Parker, Duke is No. 1 for 2014-15

Parker is expected to announce his decision within the next day or so. Should he move on, his only college season will be considered among the best of the one-and-done era, but not as high up as might have been anticipated when this so-called Year of the Freshmen began last November. Here’s a ranking of the best one-and-done seasons since the NBA instituted its age minimum in time for the 2006-07 season:

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Posted April 15, 2014

Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, Arizona’s Nick Johnson enter draft

Arizona Wildcats, Michigan Wolverines, NBA draft
Robinson and Stauskas

Glenn Robinson III (left) and Nik Stauskas announced together that they would go to the NBA draft. (Joe Robbins/Getty)

One measure for a college basketball player’s stay-or-go decision is: Will he be better off bypassing the NBA draft for another season? And if not, what exactly is the point in hanging around?

This helps explain Tuesday’s spate of departures that featured the Michigan duo of Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, as well as Arizona guard Nick Johnson. Their outlooks vary: Stauskas received word from the league that he was a likely late lottery pick, no worse than mid-first round. Robinson III likely received first-round grades. Johnson, meanwhile, might slip into the late first round but also might have to settle for a second-round slotting.

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Posted April 15, 2014

Cal hires Cuonzo Martin, who will need to work quickly in competitive Pac-12

California Golden Bears, Coaches, Pac 12
Cuonzo Martin

Cuonzo Martin will compete in recruiting and on the court against top coaches in the Pac-12. (Collegiate Images via Getty)

Cuonzo Martin got what he wanted, which was a program that wanted him. He is the new head coach at California, a move seemingly stemming from how he was treated or perceived at Tennessee. It was sudden. And it is with even more haste that Martin now must get up to speed in a rapidly improving, mostly well-coached, strikingly deep Pac-12 before his new program falls too far off pace. A coach with one NCAA tournament bid and zero apparent ties to the West Coast must prove he was worth the fuss, and time isn’t on Martin’s side.

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Posted April 15, 2014

Cuonzo Martin better off after leaving Tennessee to coach Cal

California Golden Bears, Coaches, Tennessee Volunteers
Cuonzo Martin

Cuonzo Martin leaves Tennessee with a 63-41 record and one NCAA tournament appearance in three seasons.  (Streeter Lecka/Getty)

Cuonzo Martin’s biggest flaw at Tennessee was one he could never control: He wasn’t Bruce Pearl.

Martin, who left the Volunteers on Tuesday after three seasons to take over as the head coach of California, had the misfortune of arriving in Knoxville in 2011 on the heels of the Pearl era. Pearl had been fired after lying to NCAA investigators, as well as the cumulative effect of other violations, after what was perhaps the most successful run in Tennessee basketball history. In six seasons in Knoxville, Pearl took the Volunteers to six NCAA tournaments and lifted UT to the program’s first-ever No. 1 ranking. At a football-heavy school, Pearl made the Vols matter on a national basketball level.

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Posted April 15, 2014

Eron Harris, Sean Obi, Ryan Anderson lead top available transfers

Transfers
Eron Harris

Eron Harris may be the most accomplished talent left in the transfer market. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty)

The college basketball transfer market is not exactly the equivalent of free agency. But given the volume of players switching uniforms in the offseason – and the wide disparity of talent available, from end-of-benchers to impact performers – it comes close.

Some players who were prime catches already discovered new homes, such as Anthony Lee (Temple to Ohio State), Bryce Dejean-Jones (UNLV to Iowa State) and Tyler Lewis (N.C. State to Butler). Restricting the discussion to who remains available, here’s a look at 10 top players (in alphabetical order) seeking a new home this spring and summer:

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