A look at the NBA's underclassmen
Wagner is averaging 13.5 points
Wagner is averaging 13.5 points

Posted Mar 8, 2003

The early entry rule allowing non-college seniors to enter the NBA Draft has changed not only the NBA game, but has a big effect on college Basketball as well. Imagine the draft if Jason Richardson, Jonathan Bender, Gilbert Arenas, Jamal Crawford, DerMarr Johnson, Joe Johnson, Donnell Harvey, Kenny Satterfield, Jason Collins, Steven Hunter, Leon Smith, Kedrick Brown and Samuel Dalembert were available.

What if Joseph Forte, Jamison Brewer, Jay Williams, Rod Grizzard, Carlos Boozer, Curtis Borchardt, Drew Gooden, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Jeffries, Marcus Haislip, Kareem Rush, Frank Williams and Roger Mason Jr. were available. All of sudden, a weak draft would be very deep.

There are 54 players who would have college eligibility if there was no such thing as early entry candidates. Thirty of the players would be college seniors. Only three of those players are averaging double figures in the NBA. Eleven players are scoring less than four points per contest. Three players have missed the entire year due to injury and five others are not in the NBA.

Caron Butler is the lone player from the high school class of 2000 out of 16 to average double figures in the NBA. Two former McDonald's All-Americans, Marcus Taylor and Omar Cook are playing in the minor leagues after failing to stick in the NBA. six of the players are scoring four or less points per game.

Dajuan Wagner is the only players among the seven drafted from the Class of 2001 to score more than ten points per game.

Amare Stoudemire is the lone player from the Class of 2002 in the NBA. He has surprised observers by averaging 13.3 points per game, the best numbers of any player who skipped college to go straight to the NBA.

Forty-six of the 54 players are in the NBA. Three players, Curtis Borchardt, DerMarr Johnson and Samuel Dalembert, are sidelined with injuries.

The 43 players are averaging 7.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 rebounds per game this season, compared to 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the average NBA player.

The following is a look at the stats or in some cases non-stats for the 54 players who could be playing college basketball. They are sorted by their class and scoring average.   

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