Draft watch: A look at Noah Vonleh’s stock

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Noah Vonleh is averaging 11.8 points and 9.5 rebounds through the first 15 games of his freshman season at Indiana and his long term potential has vaulted him into the early discussion for the lottery of the 2014 NBA draft.

In our first draft watch of the 2013-2014 season, we take a look at where Vonleh’s stock stands through two conference games as well as a brief glance at the pro prospects of some of IU’s other players:

Noah Vonleh
ESPN: (9) Draft Express: (8) NBADraft.net: (15)

· Analysis: The start of Vonleh’s season landed him in the lottery of various mock draft projections, but inconsistent play against the best competition IU has faced has removed him as a consensus lottery guy by the experts. Most recently, NBADraft.net dropped him down to No. 15 in their latest mock draft. CBSSports.com also has Vonleh at No. 16 in its most recent mock draft.

There’s still plenty of season to play out for Vonleh, but it’s clear that his decision is going to have a major impact on Indiana’s 2014-2015 season. One major factor that Vonleh will have to consider is the potential benefit of coming back for another season and entering what figures to be a much weaker draft in 2015. Even though NBA players get a significant raise in their second contract from their rookie wages, there’s also a sizeable difference in compensation from a top 3 or 4 pick to a late lottery pick.

· Expert opinion: “An extremely promising game against Illinois for Vonleh was followed up by a stinker against Michigan State. Against the Illini, Vonleh had 16 points and nine rebounds, getting most of his production at the free throw line where he shot 10-of-16 (for the year he shoots almost 72 percent from the stripe). But against Sparty, Vonleh struggled to carve out space and get in position to score, finishing with only five points. He did snare eight rebounds with his lanky frame and leaping ability, but as an offensive threat right now, Vonleh remains a work in progress. His upside and size has him inside the lottery at the moment, but figuring out his niche as an offensive player will be critical moving forward.” – Paul Bukowski, SI.com.

Beyond Vonleh, Indiana doesn’t have another player solidly on the NBA radar for the 2014 draft, but here’s a quick roundup of where some of the Hoosiers rank:

· Yogi Ferrell: IU’s sophomore floor leader comes in at No. 107 in Chad Ford’s rankings at ESPN.com and No. 56 in the Draft Express mock draft for 2015.

· Will Sheehey: Sheehey was at one time thought of as a prospect that could potentially be a second round pick, but he’s ranked just No. 97 overall according to Draft Express and No. 141 according to Ford and ESPN.com.

· Troy Williams: IU’s freshman had risen all the way to No. 45 in Ford’s rankings at ESPN.com, but his play in recent weeks has him on the decline. Currently, Ford ranks Williams as the No. 61 prospect.

  • ScoopGeoff

    That’s false Marcus. Last year he played in the best pre-college league in America. Every game he had guys his size, or bigger… His strength, or stronger… Older and more experienced, sometimes by as much as 3 years in age… And every team had multiple D1 players. Trust me, last year was not easy.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Many people disagree with your assessment.

  • Ole Man

    If you were honest, you’d admit that this offense does not suit Noah.
    The kid is a true PF and needs to be playing that position, not the 5.

  • Ole Man

    Not saying I agree or disagree, but it’s refreshing to hear you speak your mind. Too often, any criticism is viewed on here as “negative”.
    To me, if it’s presented properly, it’s honest expression.

  • Ole Man

    What if there isn’t anything to execute?

  • Schwindy

    Siberian League?

  • Schwindy

    The term Over-rated is giving The Jeremy Hollowell Experience way too much credit.

  • Schwindy

    10-5 is the worst possible record we could have right now, fyi.

  • Schwindy

    Um, the TEAM has fallen from the beginning of the season and THAT is the reason Crean is horrible. Thank you.

  • SCHoosier

    Maybe because he can’t play the position he will have to play in the pro’s..and isn’t likely too next year either if he stays. As the five..not nearly the focus of the offense as some of his contemporaries are at the other schools. That said..kid appears to have a good head on his shoulders and I think his family will have a lot to stay about whether Noah goes or stays. Ya know..it’s easier to learn to be a 4 in the pro’s when you work o n it in practice against other pro players..and then sit on the end of the bench as a millionaire during a game.???

  • ty_smitty21

    No, it’s not lofty. It’s realistic. I don’t know why everyone always forgets that players develop from year to year. Yogi and Vonleh are going to be beasts next season. Our entire freshman class will take a step up next year, and then we add 2 very good players and a sharpshooter to the mix. Blackmon by himself has game-changing potential right away as a freshman.

    This is the year we “hopefully make the tourney.” Next year, we are final 4 contenders again. No doubt in my mind.

  • ty_smitty21

    Many people were also all over Coach Crean a few years ago. Then we took a huge jump in a year’s time. That’s exactly what will happen next year. He develops players.

    Fans who are getting on the Hollowell’s of the world keep forgetting that he’s still an under classman. In the glory days, guys wouldn’t step up until junior or senior year.

  • STLHoosier

    Couldn’t agree more with the Jeremy Hollowell comments. He is absolutely one of the most frustrating players I’ve ever watched at IU. Wasn’t he supposed to be a decent shooter when he was hyped coming in as a freshman? How many wide open 3pt. shots has he had that are so far off their mark, that the crowd noise at Assembly hall, anticipating a huge 3pointer that we grew so accustomed to last year, dies before the ball even gets to the rim. Man, he’s awful! So sick of hearing from every commentator that does an IU TV broadcast say how much potential he has, but that his motor has to constantly by restarted by the coaching staff. How about we just turn the sputtering motor off and sit him next to the managers on the bench for the remainder of the year!! Frankly, he’s just not very good.
    I have no idea what the coaching staff sees in this kid that warrants any playing time, let alone a starting spot.

  • marcusgresham

    Fallen from the beginning of the season? I think the team has done what most realistic expectations called for it to do. Other than the Illinois game, what has the team done that didn’t really match up to expectations for this particular season?
    If you think the mere fact that “Indiana” is on the front of the uniform means you’re entiled to go 27-5 every season you’re incorrect.

  • marcusgresham

    It wasn’t the B1G though. He was pretty solid in the non-conference for the most part; even in the Illinois game, but Payne and Washington are two of the toughest match-ups he’ll see until he gets to the NBA.

  • marcusgresham

    True, but there is a dirth of true centers in college (hell, in the NBA, for that matter.) There aren’t many places he could have gone that would afforded him the opportunity to play the 4 next to a true 5. Look around the country and see how many projected NBA 4s are playing center in college.

  • Schwindy

    STLHoosier, be careful with your negativity or you will be branded as a bad person and terrible poster as I have been. LOL.
    Today’s Jeremy Hollowell Experience statistic of the day:
    Career 3-pt shooting 13-57, 22.8%
    But allow me to be positive for a change. The JHE has improved his Turnover to Assist ratio from 3.0 to 1 his freshman year (yeah that’s not a misprint) to 1.5 to 1 this year.
    Good times.

  • Schwindy

    If you think this team has improved from the start of the season until now, then you are the one who is incorrect, sir. And that was my point.
    We also got worse over the course of last season as well. In extreme fashion. With two top four picks in the draft. From a dominant #1 in country and a 24-3 record to getting crushed in two huge home big ten games, then getting embarassed in Sweet Sixteen after barely winning in round 2.
    Do people realize we are 15-9 in our last 24 and 3-5 in our last 8 Big Ten games?
    Something is wrong here, but don’t blame the coach.

  • Hoosierfan2335

    I hope you’re right. Unless we make a miraculous run and win the B10 tourney, we aren’t doing any dancing this year. As for next year, we will undoubtedly improve, but we have to have oladipo-esque development from guys like williams and robinson. Blackmon will be fun to watch and will be a much needed addition to a team that is desperate for a shooter and scorer.

  • Hoosierfan2335

    I would honestly like to see kids be able to enter the draft right out of high school if they are ready. But if they decide on college, they stay a minimum two years. We shouldn’t deny a person the ability to play in the NBA that is clearly ready to compete. there’s really not much difference in maturity between an 18 yo and a 19 yo, and we definitely know the one and doners aren’t exactly soaking up academic lectures. So either force the kid to have two years of postsecondary ed, or let them go to the pros. It should be up to them and the NBA.

  • BlakeD1223

    I hope you are kidding.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    he’s as ready to go pro as CZ was or thought he was.

  • marcusgresham

    Yes. Look up at my response to ty_smitty

  • lookn4banner6

    Under 6ft Chinese league.

  • lookn4banner6

    If you watched all the videos like the one just posted on Eron Gordon you would have thought he was a lottery pick.

  • lookn4banner6

    IF you are top 15 you go pro end of story. Get the money now if you, flame out go back and get your degree with your 5-10 million in bank. It’s a no brainer. Next time you go to a NBA game look in the program and check out the years pro most guys are in league, it’s like 2-6 years all over the place. No need to risk injury or let your game get more exposed in college.

  • lookn4banner6

    Because when Noah goes pro (and he is going pro) Indiana will have no inside presence next year and we will be looking at another NIT bid, I think there is quite a bit on the line with this kid’s decision, that’s why Alex made it a topic of conversation.

  • MisterSlippery

    I hope you are right too, but I remember people who said (and, I think, were serious) that HMP and JH were “beasts” and worried about them leaving early. The staff is good at developing players, but that’s no guarantee that they’ll all turn out. I hope they do, though. I’d love to see big growth from Stan and Troy.

  • metalhead65

    I am as disappointed as any IU fan right now but realistically what did you expect with a team returning 2 starters from last years team and guys who did not see allot of playing time? next year will be the true test to see if they take the next step up or remain just another average team, either way it is better than the first 2 years crean was here isn’t it?

  • Michael Whelan

    He still thinks he is in high school, the college game is to fast for him.

  • Ole Man

    I agree with your assessment about fours playing as fives.
    However, (I guess it wasn’t clear) I was making two points; the first one was that this offense does not suit Noah.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    NV only re-classified his High school class to get a jump start on NBA career….enjoy him now…he is gone

  • ScoopGeoff

    Every player? Crazy high level?

    I’m not into hyperbole, and that’s hyperbole at its finest. You’ll never win people over by going to an extreme. You need reasoned, sound comments and examples. I’ve been a Crean supporter to this point, but I disagree with your assessment. Remy Abell didn’t make a crazy high strides… I don’t consider Will Sheehey to have made any improvements over last year, or even his soph year for matter… I didn’t see Cody make any crazy improvements in his time there. He seed to essentially flatline… Watford? What crazy development did he show?

    I’m assuming those players are part of “every player”.

    I haven’t given up on Crean, and I have always considered this season a bridge year, but I will need to see this crazy high development by the end of next season, or I’m off the Crean Wagon.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    That’s a tolerable alternative. I could live with a rule that works out that way too.

  • ty_smitty21

    You’re not including Watford/zeller/sheehey as guys who developed? That’s quite critical.

    “Off the Crean Wagon” half a season after winning a big 10 championship is even more critical, and laughable.

    Crean does a great job of developing his players. Certain fans just expect 30 wins and a final 4 every year or else Crean gets the blame. It’s insane.

    Next year’s team will be in the top 10, as long as Noah stays. I have no doubts about it. None.

  • ScoopGeoff

    I don’t think you’re reading my posts…

    You used the exact phrase “developed at a crazy high level”… Those players did not.

    Those players did “develop” (although I don’t think Cody developed much during his time at IU), but that wasn’t the standard you set in your defense of Crean.

    I also said that I’m giving Crean until the “end of next season”… Please pay attention.

    I have said many times over on this site in the past few weeks that if Noah stays (which is very likely) that we’ll be an good as any team in the country next year. Better than top 10, I think top 3.

  • http://www.liberallyconservative.com/ Don Anastas

    Personally, if your goal in college basketball is to win national championship you should stop recruiting these guys who are manipulating the system just so they can leave early. Quit providing a training camp for the NBA and wasting scholarships.

  • Eddie

    It’s 100% legitimate. I watched the Illinois game and have constantly wondered what people are projecting Vonleh to be. I liked this Alex. I agree, Noah reminds me a more low-post oriented Chris Bosh.

    He’s a little rusty in the paint, but outside of Yogi, nobody feeds him well, with a lack of outside shooting, teams collapse in on him. He doesn’t run the floor on the offensive break like Cody either.

    All in all, he’s been great. I like his rebounding, like his shot-blocking. I think ALL big men should stay two years to develop their game (Note: Steve Kerr’s great Grantland Piece). I hope for his sake, he stays, polishes up his post moves, learns to be more assertive scoring the ball as well. If he does against a weaker draft, he’ll open himself up to a large sum of cash in the NBA, which he deserves. It’ll be interesting if he does, It’s a similar to spot Cody was in 2 years ago.

    I just hope Hoosier fans don’t jump on him for leaving after a year if that’s what he chooses to do. If I could’ve made millions of dollars after my freshmen year at IU, I would go too. Whatever he does, hope it works out for him, that’s far more important than an IU victory.

  • McNuttLegend

    Well you will enjoy college bb more when you decide to stop being 50 years old and realize that the game has changed. If you want to see a bunch of 4 year players shoot 20% all season thats great….but I would much rather see freshman studs carry my team, If they can leave after one year, thats great for them. Its not like you would pass up a million dollar job offer after your first year of school.

  • Guest

    PI$$ OFF!

  • McNuttLegend

    #Winning oh and because you do not know, that is a hashtag, frequently seen on a social media site called Twitter. Hashtags are used to show what you are talking about or feeling. To make the transition easier you should try Facebook first, it is also a well known social media site. Good Luck with the transition to todays world!

  • Guest

    McNutt Hall Fudge Packer #GayMcNutt

  • Ardeare

    So many players go pro before they are really ready.

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