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Delaney has Small Window for Decision
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #431, May 7, 2010
It's almost decision time for Malcolm Delaney. Virginia Tech's rising senior point guard must decide on Saturday whether he will return to Blacksburg for his senior season, or if he will hire an agent and keep his name in the NBA Draft.
Delaney led the Hokies and the ACC in scoring this year, averaging 20.2 points per game despite not being 100% for the entire season. Though no one has projected Delaney to go in the First Round of the NBA Draft, he elected to enter the draft without hiring an agent. That gives him the opportunity to withdraw from the draft, if he so chooses. He'll have to make his decision tomorrow.
On paper, it sounds like a no-brainer to come back. Without being a First Round pick, there will be go guaranteed contract. In fact, Delaney is currently only considered an outside shot to be selected in the second round.
If all of the mock drafts are to be believe, Delaney would be well-served by coming back to school for another year.
Except for ESPN, which says Delaney is a possible second round pick, and MyNBADraft.com, which has him going to the Atlanta Hawks in the late second round, none of the mock drafts listed above have Delaney being selected.
As a prospect, Delaney has his strengths and weakness. He's a great competitor, and a good shooter, though very streaky. He knows how to get to the free throw line, he's got good but not great speed, and he's a very savvy basketball player overall.
However, he's not a natural point guard. Unfortunately, he lacks he size to play shooting guard. Whether or not he can develop far enough to run the point effectively in the NBA is a big question mark. Also, his durability is somewhat of a concern. Delaney has been banged up at some point in each of the last two seasons.
Unfortunately, Delaney hasn't had much of a chance to get himself in front of NBA scouts. The NCAA passed a new rule effective this season that give players only until May 8 to make a final decision. In the past, they had until the middle of June. To top it off, they can't travel to work out for teams while they are still in classes.
Delaney's classes ended this week, and he was scheduled for a workout with the Portland Trailblazers yesterday. Unfortunately, his connecting flight from Roanoke to Detroit was cancelled, forcing him to wait an extra six hours for the next flight. As a result, he'll likely only be able to work out for just one NBA team before making his decision.
The new NCAA rule is a bad one, and it's one that was actually influenced by many coaches in the ACC. It doesn't give players like Delaney enough time to sit back and evaluate their own workouts, and listen to a lot of feedback from NBA teams. They aren't given enough time to make a truly informed decision.
If Delaney elects to return to Virginia Tech for his senior season, the Hokies will be picked as high as second in the ACC by many publications heading into next year. Even if he declares for the draft, they will still likely be picked in the top half of the ACC.
However, Tech desperately needs Delaney back if they want a chance to challenge for the top of the ACC. They will have a chance to qualify for the NCAA Tournament without Delaney, but with him they will have a chance to post an excellent record and a very high seed.
We should know his decision within the next 24 hours.
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