Wilcox still processing his chances for NBA

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comApril 17, 2013 

One deadline has passed, now another approaches, and C.J. Wilcox’s decision still has not been made.

Wilcox, a redshirt junior at the University of Washington who has graduated, is deciding whether to return for his senior basketball season.

The process for college underclassmen to retain their eligibility and still flirt with the NBA draft is muddled and leveraged to favor college coaches.

Tuesday was the final day for underclassmen who formally declared for the draft to withdraw their names from consideration, if they wanted to retain their college eligibility. In Wilcox’s case, he applied weeks ago for

feedback from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which evaluates where a player may be drafted. He did not formally enter the draft and currently retains his college eligibility.

With that deadline passed, Wilcox now must decide by April 28 whether he wants to enter the draft. That’s the NBA’s deadline for underclassmen. If Wilcox declares for the draft in this secondary window, he will automatically lose his college eligibility.

Wilcox led Washington in scoring at 16.8 points per game but shot just 41.9 percent from the field. Last season, 42.7 percent of Wilcox’s field-goal attempts were 3-pointers. That did little to shake his label of being just a shooter.

Most draft gurus have Wilcox projected to be selected near the middle of the second round. Being drafted in that position has its risks. First-round draft picks automatically receive guaranteed two-year contracts with third-year and fourth-year team options. On rare occasions, players drafted near the top of the second round are able to negotiate contracts that result in guaranteed money.

Questions about Wilcox’s durability and versatility are in front of NBA general managers. Each of the past two seasons, Wilcox has had practice time limited because of non-contact injuries. In the 2012 season, Wilcox had a hip injury that caused him to miss three games and copious amounts of practice.

This season, Wilcox averaged 34.8 minutes a game, the most of any player under Lorenzo Romar since he has been at Washington. Wilcox also practiced little because of pain on the outside of his left foot. Wilcox and Romar attributed part of Wilcox’s shooting problems to his lack of practice time.

The timetable the NCAA and NBA have instituted is not for Wilcox’s benefit. Wednesday opens the spring signing period for men’s basketball. It’s not coincidence the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline has been moved in front of the first day of the signing period, which runs from Wednesday to May 15.

Wilcox’s ability to gather information is also stunted by the NCAA. Wilcox will be able to receive more feedback about his possible draft position over the next 12 days but won’t be able to participate in any predraft workouts. Only Romar can talk with NBA talent assessors then filter the information back to Wilcox. Even family members are banned by the NCAA – they’re considered third parties – from talking with the NBA directly.

So, Wilcox will wade through and wait on his way to possibly becoming the sixth Husky recruited by Romar to leave early. Spencer Hawes, Isaiah Thomas, Nate Robinson, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten are the others. All were first-rounders except Thomas, who was taken in the second round and was the final pick in 2011.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas

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