The NBA Draft can be baffling for many fans. For instance, players that were All-Conference selections and stars in college often go undrafted, while players like Lucas Nogueira from Brazil, who averaged just 5.4 points in 13.6 minutes per game last season for Estudiantes Madrid in the Spanish ACB league, was selected No.16 overall by the Boston Celtics and traded to the Atlanta Hawks are off the board in the first round.
It all boils down to each player’s game and how well NBA franchises think it correlates to the next level. Such was the case for recently graduated Temple Owls guard Khalif Wyatt, who never heard his name called on draft night. Despite being named the 2013 A-10 Player of the Year, leading the Owls to two conference championships in 2010 and 2012 and averaging a team-high 20.5 PPG, not one NBA team saw enough in the three-year starter to select him with one of the 60 picks.
Wyatt, however, will get his chance to make a team this summer when he gears up for the Philadelphia 76ers in the Orlando Summer League, as well as the Dallas Mavericks in the Las Vegas Summer League. One of the knocks against Wyatt was his game, which many NBA scouts saw as very “college based.” His game is considered to be more for the amateur ranks and looks more like he should be playing for the popular street-ball team And One rather than an NBA franchise.
But Wyatt is known to be a tough, hard-nosed guard with a good work ethic. Also important is his ability to create his own shot and use even the slightest bit of space to attack the defense and get to the basket. Wyatt could use his pure scoring abilities to have a big summer and work his way on to a roster.
Anyone who drops 31 points in the NCAA Tournament against teams like the N.C. State Wolfpack and Indiana Hoosiers can play some ball, and no one would be wise to count Wyatt out. If he can work on making his game more suited for the NBA and have a big summer, a non-guaranteed spot could be waiting for the former Owl.