Tuesday, March 18, 2008

N.C. State's J.J. Hickson Enters NBA Draft

For some unfortunate teams, their college basketball season is over. With the season's end comes a rush of underclassmen entering the NBA Draft. The rush appears to have started.

N.C. State freshman J.J. Hickson announced that he will enter the NBA Draft. Hickson will not sign with an agent, leaving the possibility for a return to college. Hickson, a 6-foot-9, 242-pound power forward, was the Wolfpack's leading scorer (averaging 14.8 points) and rebounder (averaging 8.5 rebounds). His play earned him an all-ACC freshman team nomination.

According to coach Sidney Lowe, Hickson will "get all the information he can and decide what's the best thing." Whether Hickson returns to school will "depend on where he's going in the draft."

Hickson, a former McDonald's High School All-American, is currently projected as the last pick in the first round by NBADraft.net. Early in the season, Hickson was expected to be a top-ten selection, but his stock fell as the season progressed. DraftExpress expects Hickson to be drafted in the first round, though teams will need to be patient developing him:
[Entering the draft] would probably be a mistake if that’s indeed the case, as he does not look anywhere near ready to see minutes on an NBA team (defensively, or operating as a true power forward should facing the basket), and would greatly benefit from expanding his game through another season in college. His talent will still likely be too great for most teams to pass up on in the first round--even if he’ll have to spend time in the D-League polishing his all-around game--and therefore he’d likely get drafted somewhere in the bottom half of the first round barring bad workouts or off the court red flags that pop up during the draft process.
If Hickson is to reach is potential, he will need to further develop his offensive game, both in the post and on the perimeter. Despite his above average strength and athleticism, Hickson's defense is average at best.

There is plenty Hickson can work on. Whether it happens at N.C. State or in the NBA, that will remain to be seen.


Anonymous,  March 20, 2008 at 9:48 AM  

JJ you cant have it both ways, either you play for the pack or you go to the NBA. Testing the waters and gathering information is all well and good until you have to face your teammates back in Raleigh after you realized your stock isnt high enough. I say go ahead and sign an agent and we will fill your position once your gone. As a wolfpack alum im not interested in playing second fiddle to anyone, especially to a 19 year old kid who only had 1 decent game in the second half of the season. Good luck in Europe!!!

Drew H. March 20, 2008 at 5:53 PM  

To be fair, he had more than one decent game in the second half of the season. He didn't play as well as he did to start the season, but that was expected once the ACC season began. Even then, he played well for a freshman. Still, four of his last five games were not very good.

Anonymous,  March 31, 2008 at 8:23 AM  

J.J. Hickson is a 6'9" forward with no jump shot and sense of other players on the court. He would get double teamed and go right up, when he had shooters like fells and grant on the outside. He needs to wait two years if you ask me to develop that vision and his jump shot. I mean think about it he is the same size as Lebron, w/o a jump shot he cannot plan to ever leave the D-League.

About the Undrafted Free Agent

Ron Crimson was the only player on the high school roster to not get in a game. He couldn't argue with the decision, because he sucked. Needless to say, yet stated anyway, when he entered the NBA draft following his sophomore season in college, he went undrafted. Now, Ron Crimson is the Undrafted Free Agent.

Contact the Undrafted Free Agent

Interested in informing the Undrafted Free Agent of his mistakes, advertisement opportunities, or a scoop on the latest sports scandal? (You can guess which is more likely.) Well, email him at undraftedfreeagent [at] gmail.com.

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