2014 NBA Draft: Noah Vonleh Leaving After Freshman Season, Poised to Be Lottery Pick

By Cody Williams
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Getty Images

The 2014 NCAA Tournament has been quite unkind to many of the projected top picks for the 2014 NBA Draft. Of the projected top-five picks, only Julius Randle remains in the tournament heading into the Sweet 16. However, one projected lottery pick didn’t have a chance to do anything in the tourney.

Indiana freshman center Noah Vonleh and his team didn’t receive a bid as one of the 68 teams to compete in March Madness. Even more insulting, the Hoosiers weren’t invited to play in the NIT, which the team decided would end their season, not playing in any of the other tournaments many deem as consolation prizes.

Now that his season is over, though, Vonleh won’t ever get the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. Late on Sunday night, Vonley told Gary Parrish of CBS Sports that he plans to enter the 2014 NBA Draft, effectively ending his college career and starting his transition into the pro-ranks.

At 6’10” and 242 pounds, Vonleh’s body is seemingly NBA-ready at this point. Throw in the fact that he’s quite comfortable skill-wise within that frame and that he boasts a monstrous 7’4” wingspan, Vonleh is certainly a highly intriguing prospect in terms of what he’ll be able to do on the interior at the NBA level.

In his lone college season, Vonleh put up 11.3 points, nine rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 steals in just 26.5 minutes per game while hitting 52.3 percent of his shot attempts. His minutes were limited this season with the Hoosiers, but there’s no denying the success he was able to achieve when he was on the floor.

Vonleh is not without his shortcomings, though. He’s not a great passer out of the interior, nor is he near ready to defend at a high level in the NBA. However, he’s also just 18 years old still (his birthday coming in late August), and with his physical attributes, his motor, and ability offensively and on the glass, Vonleh is clearly headed towards being drafted in the mid-lottery and could wind up being one of the best prospects in this draft a few years down the road.

Cody Williams is a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google and like his Facebook page.

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