On Thursday, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo was seen comforting Deyonta Davis at the Barclays Center during the NBA Draft because Davis, who was projected to be a lottery pick in most mock drafts, ended up being drafted in the second round. With the Spartans boasting one of the best recruiting classes of the year, the loss of Davis and other players that were drafted on Thursday night won’t significantly affect Michigan State’s college basketball national championship odds.
After seeing Davis’ stack fall in the draft, Izzo is warning his players, especially the freshmen, to be wary of mock drafts and other online pundits.
In a teleconference held on Friday, Izzo said he told his players to be careful about believing what they read from so-called professionals because in the end it is still a business, and a lot of the mock drafts are done by people trying to get clicks for their articles.
Izzo said the only people his players should pay attention to are coaches, general managers, and team owners because they are the ones making the final decisions. Izzo said he had to get his point across because there are already people in the media talking about next year’s draft.
Less than 24 hours after the draft ended, CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish already released a mock draft for the 2017 NBA Draft, which is surprising because there are a lot of players that will be selected early in the draft that haven’t even played a collegiate game yet.
In the 2017 mock draft, Parrish listed incoming Michigan State player Miles Bridges as the 25th pick. Parrish called bridges the type of hard-nosed player that Izzo likes, and compared him to former Spartan Draymond Green, who has gone on to become an All-Star in the NBA.
Last year, college basketball experts like ESPN’s Chad Ford, listed Davis as the 17th best player after Michigan State’s 13-0 start to the season. Other pundits had Davis listed as high as 12th, but when the draft came around, he was selected in the second round.
Izzo said after the 20th pick in the draft was made, there were still about six or seven players left in the green room, all of whom were freshmen. Izzo said he felt bad for the players because even though the NCAA tried to make their decision to enter the draft easier by giving the players more time to withdraw their names from the draft, which is something some players took advantage of.
Izzo said it is hard for him to tell his players not to believe what they read or hear because the players always want to believe the positive things they hear about themselves. The coach did have a lot of positive things to say about his incoming quartet of freshman players.
Coach Izzo said big man Nick Ward has been a little better than he thought he would be, but he still needs to work on his fitness. Josh Langford has been a machine when it comes to hitting the weights, and both Bridges and Cassius Winston have been very good in the limited time they have had on campus.