Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Afflalo Affirms Ascendancy Away From Amateur Arena.

I'm kind of wondering just why Arron Afflalo thinks he's ready to head to the NBA draft. At this point, it's a head-scratcher. After the regional finals against Kansas, I thought he'd punched a lottery ticket, but that was before another miserable Final Four game against Florida, and I can't be alone in thinking that he's probably second round right now. Late 20s in the first round would be unexpected.

Seriously, Afflalo's a really, really talented player, but he crumbles in games that matter and doesn't show up -- he was in serious foul trouble within five minutes of the national semi-final and had three fouls at the end of the first half. He's really a player that, to me, needs another year to finally get it down with both Darren Collison and Josh Shipp (never mind playing with the incoming Kevin Love), and see if they can make good on those last two Final Four appearances by getting further next year. Ben Howland will win a championship -- it's not really if, but when -- but losing Afflalo is going to put a bit of a dent in that. I was salivating at the thought of watching Collison, Afflalo, Shipp, and Love on the same floor.

In other NBA draft related stuff, both UNC's Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson are staying for another year -- but everyone's still waiting on Brandan Wright's decision. The Heels will live on without him; one of Roy Williams' specialties is lining up a ton of Tar Heel talent so he goes 10-12 players deep, but losing a highly talented freshman would hurt regardless.


MCBias said...

Arron can't carry a team, but he won't be expected to in the NBA. Remember, Horry couldn't carry a team either, and yet he continues to be a valuable playoff resource. He may be better off staying, but I think Arron is who he is, a supporting player, and might as well depart now.

twins15 said...

I'm not sure it's accurate to say that Afflalo crumbles in games that matter... after all, that Kansas game was pretty important.

I think it's more that he just struggled against long-armed and athletic defenders, such as Corey Brewer. He is what he is... a good defender, excellent midrange shooter, and tough player. He'll probably be a 2nd rounder.

And yeah, I was really hoping to see what that team could have done if returned intact + Kevin Love. :(