Noah Vonleh is inching ever closer to a big pay day.
The NBA Draft is Thursday and the broken foot sustained by Joel Embiid appears to be something that will work in the favor of Vonleh come draft day.
In checking out all the Mock Drafts, I've seen Vonleh going as high as No. 3 to Philadelphia and as low as No. 8 to Sacramento.
NBA.com has what it calls the ‘Consensus Mock Draft' which averages what it considers to be the 12 best mock drafts. Here's the link. Consensus Mock Draft at NBA.com
It says that Vonleh is coming in at the No. 5 spot to the Utah Jazz in nine of the 12 mock drafts. It says that's as close to a consensus pick as there is the top spots.
What that means is that Indiana could very well have its third top five pick in the last two seasons. A year ago, Victor Oladipo was the No. 2 player selected overall by Orlando and Cody Zeller was No. 4 overall by Charlotte.
That's some big time talent. It's a shame that we never saw those three players on the floor at the same time at IU. Technically it could have happened but there is certainly no begrudging any of these guys for leaving.
If you're guaranteed to be a top 10 pick, you're crazy not to go.
I'll admit with Vonleh that I really thought he could have benefitted by playing another year of college basketball. He did some good things at IU, don't get me wrong. But he wasn't a completely dominant player either.
I know it's about more than just scoring points but I'll still never be able to completely come to grips with the fact that Vonleh never scored 20 points or more in his Indiana career. To me, that's almost mind-boggling. All of the IU fans that complained about IU's cupcake schedule, and against that schedule, Vonleh never had the real break out game. It's just hard to believe.
But again it's clearly more than just scoring points. The NBA has always drafted on potential and in Vonleh they see a world of potential. My guess is that it will take him a few seasons to where he really feels comfortable at the next level but no one can fault him for taking advantage of this golden opportunity.
And it's opportunity that seems to just be getting better all the time. The only thing for certain Thursday night is that Indiana basketball fans are not going to have to wait too long into the NBA Draft to hear another former Hoosier have his name called.
And good for Noah. Nice kid, always very respectful and he wore the Indiana uniform well. I wish him nothing but the best.
And think about it: Three top five picks in two years.
Now Indiana just has to get the talent to jell together and find a way to make a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch