College stars left on NBA sideline

Yesterday, after rather wordily pondering whether Luke Harangody would become an NBA player -- Harangody is the Platonic idea of a great college player who never got much love from NBA types, for understandable reasons -- a good thing happened: Luke Harangody was drafted No. 22 in the second round by the Boston Celtics. Huzzah for college production! Huzzahs all around.

Plenty of Harangody's peers weren't so lucky.

Compiled quickly from Chad Ford's updated top 100 list, here's a sampling of that group: Manny Harris, Sylven Landesberg, A.J. Ogilvy, Brian Zoubek, Jon Scheyer, Sherron Collins, Jerome Randle, Matt Bouldin, Scottie Reynolds, Samardo Samuels, Tyler Smith, Courtney Fortson, Armon Bassett, Ryan Wittman, and Omar Samhan. I could have missed somebody, but this group is a pretty good mix of players who either led their teams to successful seasons in 2009-10 or played huge four-year roles at their colleges of choice. In some cases, they did both. And every NBA team passed on all of them.

Of course, there are a few bad decisions mixed in here -- Harris, Landesberg, Samuels, and Bassett were all questioned immediately when they decided to leave college for the draft. And it's not exactly hard to fathom why many of these players weren't picked. Some come with attitude concerns. Some aren't NBA athletes. Some have the skills for one position and the body for another. And so on.

Still, there are some good, good collegiate players on this list. Jon Scheyer just won a national title. Matt Bouldin and Scottie Reynolds are two of the best point guards in the country. Tyler Smith was a first-round lock in 2009. Samhan and Wittman just led their teams to brilliant Sweet 16 runs, the former doing so while putting up 20-10 scoring and rebound tallies for pretty much the entire season.

So while it's not exactly surprising none of them were picked in the second round of Thursday's NBA draft, it is disappointing. (Though in terms of surprises, Zoubek and Collins qualify. Why not take a flyer on a seven-foot rebounding machine or a pedigree point guard like Collins?) For some, it's disappointing they chose to leave school, forfeit eligibility and have no pro promise to show for it. For others, it's just disappointing. It's not the end of the world, or of anyone's basketball career, but it is, as the Dude might say, a bummer, man. This is a bummer.