Tomorrow is the most important day in the careers of 60 young basketball players. 60 times, an NBA official will step to the microphone and announce that Team X has drafted Player Y in the 2012 NBA Draft.
"Every kid that goes to the NBA benefits me enormously," Izzo said. "If I get a kid going to the NBA right now, I'm sad to say, if you had to look at winning a national championship or sending a kid to the NBA, which would help your recruiting more? It would be the kid going to the NBA."
Ten years ago this was bad news for Florida State. The Seminoles were in the middle of a six-year streak where no one got drafted. But then Leonard Hamilton was hired. Since then 8 Seminoles have been drafted (Tim Pickett, Von Wafer, Alexander Johnson, Al Thornton, Toney Douglas, Ryan Reid, Solomon Alabi, and Chris Singleton). The Noles have had players drafted in 3-consecutive years, in six of the past seven.
Now, six seniors have graduated, but will any of them get drafted?
Jeff Peterson (0% chance): Peterson came to FSU to get his graduate degree, and he's accomplishing that goal. Remember, this is a kid who first committed to Princeton. He's smarter than most of us. He'll be fine.
Deividas Dulkys (0% chance): Dulkys is currently trying to stick on the roster with the Lithuanian National Team. Aside from the US team, this might be the toughest roster in the world to crack. It will be a huge accomplishment if he's successful, and Noles will be able to watch him in the Olympics. After that, he'll be playing somewhere Internationally, most likely in Lithuania.
Jon Kreft (2% chance): Kreft has worked out for a few NBA teams, but isn't expected to be drafted. But neither was Ryan Reid.
Xavier Gibson (10% chance): Gibson has worked out for over half the NBA teams, and has been surprisingly good in those workouts. Of course talent has never been the issue. He'll most likely sign a development league contract after going undrafted.
Bernard James (85% chance): Remember listening to Mike Patrick talk ad nauseum during Nole broadcasts about Bernard James' military background? Now everyone is doing it. His maturity, background and charisma have gotten him workouts with more than a dozen teams, and he and his agent have constantly been harping on how his age shouldn't be a factor. Yes, he's 27, but his body is still fresh because he's relatively new to basketball. Unlike most players in this draft, his joints haven't been taking a pounding every day since he was a kid. He doesn't have a true position in the NBA, but he can defend and is a PR bonanza. He should hear his name called.