Jim Boeheim was looking forward to Darius Bazley becoming a Syracuse basketball star. Now that he apparently won’t play for the Orange or in the NBA G League in advance of the 2019 NBA Draft, Boeheim isn’t sure the former Princeton (Cincinnati) High School standout will be selected in the draft’s first round.
Boeheim and NBA scouts are in agreement that Bazley should have gone to Syracuse as he apparently had planned, according to a report from flohoops.com’s Adam Zagoria.
“That always helps,” Boeheim said Monday by phone. “You see any freshman that comes in, like we had Malachi [Richardson] and Tyler Ennis. When they have a good freshman year and their college team wins; that’s a big advantage when you get an opportunity to move into the NBA.
“Now they’ll have nothing to look at except the McDonald’s Game and the limited games he played. I think he’s got tremendous upside, but I think it will cost him. I think he could’ve moved into the first round with a good college year. I don’t know if he can be a first-round pick now. They’ve got nothing to go by.”
“I was very disappointed he didn’t go to Syracuse,” one NBA scout said.
Bazley announced in March that he would play in the G League instead of at Syracuse – the school to which he committed after decommitting from Ohio State. Bazley said earlier this week – according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania – that he has reconsidered and decided not to play in the G League, instead using the year to train and prepare for his professional career.
The 6-foot-9 forward explained in April that he was entering the G-League draft because it gave him the best opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. Boeheim said he wished Bazley well, but insisted that the G League will never take the place of college basketball as a path to the NBA for a top prospect.