When the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee begins assessing evaluation requests from college basketball players across the country Wednesday, Tennessee’s Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes will be among the applicants.
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin told the News Sentinel on Monday that both McRae, a junior, and Stokes, a sophomore, applied for reports from the committee. The request is not a declaration of one’s intention to enter the draft early.
It is a chance to receive a formal evaluation from a committee comprised of league executives representing 20 teams and chaired by Stu Jackson, the NBA vice president of basketball operations. The group produces formal evaluations for any potential early entrant who requests one.
The reports are handed out on April 15.
The following day is the deadline for any previously announced early entrant to the draft to withdrawal. This is a moot point in the cases of McRae and Stokes, as neither is expected to declare before that date.
The date that matters most is April 28: the NBA’s deadline to declare for the draft.
Fresh off a visit to NCAA Final Four weekend festivities in Atlanta to coach in a college all-star game, Martin was back in Knoxville on Monday for offseason team workouts at Pratt Pavilion. Martin said he will use this week conduct individual meetings with every player on the roster, including McRae and Stokes. As of Monday, only UT’s seniors have partaken in formal sit-down meetings with Martin since the season ended in the first round on of the National Invitation Tournament on March 20.
“(McRae and Stokes) have applied for (Undergraduate Advisory Committee evaluations) and talked to several people about it, so we should know here very shortly, but neither has made a decision,” Martin said.
According to Martin, Stokes is “still 50-50 on making a decision.” McRae, meanwhile, “Is evaluating things.”
Reports from the Undergraduate Advisory Committee attempt to paint a narrow picture of a player’s potential landing spot in the June 27 draft. It is the best unbiased information available to any potential early entrant.
But according to Martin, “Most guys already know where they stand because (the players) have people that call, people that talk to certain guys. There’s a faster way of finding out what you want to know. There are other ways of getting information to make a decision.”
So the wait is on.
Neither McRae nor Stokes is included in 2013 mock drafts on nbadraft.net or draftexpress.com, two widely used scouting websites. Nbadraft.net projects McRae being selected late in the second round of the 2014 draft, while Stokes does not appear. Draftexpress.com places McRae late in the 2014 first round and Stokes as an early second-round pick.
In three seasons at UT, McRae has increased his scoring from 1.8 points per game as a freshman to 8.6 as a sophomore and to 15.7 as a junior. Stokes started all 33 games as a sophomore, recording 22 double-doubles and averaging 13.1 points and 10.7 rebounds in SEC play.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.