The Yogi Ferrell decision is upon us.
Saturday night, Indiana’s senior-to-be point guard will announce if he’s going to make himself eligible for the NBA Draft or if he plans to return to school for his final year of eligibility.
Everyone seems to have their well-placed source on this one and speculation within Hoosier Nation is rampant.
Will he stay or will he go?
On the eve of Ferrell’s announcement, here is a primer that looks at some of the factors that are potentially in play.
1. WOULD HE HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ON LITTLE 500 WEEKEND IN INDIANAPOLIS IF HE WERE RETURNING TO SCHOOL?
I must admit, when I first heard a couple of weeks ago that Ferrell was having his announcement on a Saturday night in Indianapolis, my first thought was that he was surely gone. Why would you schedule something 12 days out, if you were just going to say you were coming back? It didn’t make any sense to me.
With a little time to ponder that, however, there are a couple of things in play here. Yogi’s dad has a foundation that he’s trying to promote and having his son make his stay-or-go announcement that night was certainly going to bring interest to the event. Is this the only motivation? I don’t think so. But I think it would be naïve to say it has nothing to do with that either.
The decision also comes the day before underclassmen have to announce whether they will enter the Draft or not. And so by waiting until the last possible moment, Yogi should have the most informed decision with regards to what players are coming out and what players are staying in. By announcing Saturday night, he should be on the top of the information curve.
Finally, if you wonder why someone would have a press conference to announce they were staying, all you have to do is look at Thursday afternoon in Bloomington when Yogi’s teammate James Blackmon Jr. did just that. So the move is far from unprecedented.
2. WILL HE GET DRAFTED?
Of course that’s the million dollar question. Many seem to believe that Ferrell would potentially be a mid-to-late second round NBA Draft pick. At least one outlet has had him ranked as high as No. 40 overall. But there aren’t a lot of people out there that believe Ferrell would be a first round draft pick if he came out.
He’s undersized and while he has done some good things at the college level, has he done enough to make an NBA team use one of its two draft picks to select him? That’s the big question. Another thing working against him is that there seem to be a number of point guards in this draft that are ranked ahead of him.
3. IF HE STAYS, COULD HE REALISTICALLY IMPROVE HIS DRAFT STATUS?
That’s another big question and one that is also difficult to answer. If Ferrell did return, and Indiana had the kind of season that people believe it is capable of having, Ferrell’s stock could indeed rise and possibly even in to the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft.
Or maybe he would stay the same. With Ferrell, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. You have a solid guard who is going to push the pace, make good decisions, knock down open shots and be a floor general. His defense is going to be called into question simply because of his size and that’s something that is likely not going to change.
So the question of how much his draft stock would change is a real one for certain.
There are other points to ponder, too.
I had initially seen reports that Ferrell could graduate this summer but I’ve since been led to believe that his graduation date is actually in December. So I’m not sure he’ll actually have his degree in hand if he opted to leave for the NBA.
If he didn’t get drafted, I’m sure that Yogi could earn a good living in Europe. But that would be there whether he came out this year or finished his college eligibility.
If he stayed he could end up IU’s all-time assists leader and rank in the top 10 all-time in Indiana University history. He could challenge to be one of just six players in Indiana history to score 2,000 points.
So what will Yogi decide?
It’s a question that has been going around back and forth for nearly two weeks. And in a very short amount of time, it’s a question for which we’ll finally have an answer.