VAUGHT: Tubby may benefit from 2005 NBA Draft

Tuesday's NBA Draft could be the best thing that ever happened for Tubby Smith's recruiting.

Wait. Don't quit reading. I've not gone without sleep since watching Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference be ignored by NBA teams. Instead, I've realized that not having Randolph Morris and Kelenna Azubuike drafted should be a selling point for Smith's recruiting pitch.

It's easy. The dialogue could go something like this when Smith makes a home visit to Prospect A, one of the nation's top prep players.

"I know your son is as good as any high school player in the country and has all the skills to eventually play in the NBA. You might even have some people tell you he'll be ready in a year or two. If he is, I'll tell you that. If he's not, I'll tell you that.

"You can always take other advice. Kelenna Azubuike and Randolph Morris did when I told them they weren't ready for the draft. But rather than listen, they put their names into the draft and then did not get picked. Keith Bogans and Tayshaun Prince listened to what I told them.

"What? Yes, Prince is the guy who has played in two straight NBA championship series and he stayed four years at Kentucky. Bogans also has had two good years and is ready to get a big pay raise. He stayed four years, too. So if your son comes to play for me and listens to what I tell him, I'll get him ready for the NBA if he's as good as you and I both think he is."

Okay, Smith and his assistants could put a lot more eloquent spin on this dialogue. But given a chance, Smith can develop NBA players.

Rajon Rondo listened. He knows he has to develop an outside shot before he can leave Kentucky and play in the NBA. If Prince could wait, so can Rondo.

As much as I wish Azubuike had been drafted because of his family circumstances, not having his name or Morris' called Tuesday could Kentucky more in future years because of the message it should send to potential recruits and their parents about the value of listening to what Smith has to say.

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