Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, May 2, 2013

April 28 was the deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA Draft, so the draft pool is now set. The big day comes June 27, but before that comes the draft lottery on May 21.

The Big Ten saw five players leave early: Ohio State?s Deshaun Thomas; Michigan?s Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr.; Indiana?s Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. The conference also saw some star underclassmen stay as Gary Harris and Adreian Payne opted to return to Michigan State after contemplating jumping to the NBA.

Think you know which Big Ten underclassmen will find the most success in the Big Ten? We asked that same question on Twitter. Vote over here. And now, here's a look at some mock NBA drafts.

This is from Burke is at No. 4; Oladipo No. 7; Zeller No. 9. Thomas is No. 26.

From Burke is No. 5; Zeller No. 7; Oladipo No. 8. Hardaway No. 21; Thomas No. 27.

From Oladipo No. 4; Burke No. 5; Zeller No. 9; Thomas, Hardaway and Illinois? Brandon Paul are in the second round.

From Burke is No. 5; Oladipo No. 6; Zeller is No. 11.

Top 30 prospects from Zeller No. 7; Oladipo No. 8. Burke No. 13.

Bottom line: Burke, Zeller and Oladipo no doubt made the correct choices to leave early. Each appears to be a lock to be a lottery selection.  Thomas and Hardaway? Their decisions may prove to be dubious. But, could either have gotten any better by staying in college for their senior season? Probably not.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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