Coach Haase, you are on the clock. Stanford Senior Rosco Allen has declared for the NBA Draft, but has not hired an agent. Rosco has thus afforded himself the chance to receive evaluation and gauge his likely draft slot. If he gets news that he doesn’t like, he can return to Stanford to play for a final season under new Coach Jarod Haase.
This decision doesn’t really come as a big surprise, but it still sets up the first big opportunity for Coach Haase to make an impact. Stanford’s prospects change dramatically with the inclusion of the 6’9” swingman on the Cardinal’s roster. Allen was a first team All Pac-12 selection this season and clearly established himself as the Cardinal’s go-to player on offense.
Coach Haase is in Houston this weekend for the Final Four, where he will be networking and hopefully assembling his list of candidates to fill out Stanford’s staff. We can presume that at this point he’s met face to face with every Stanford player. It’s hard to say what type of input he gave Rosco, having just met him within the week.
Senior support is a huge part of getting a new program off to a good start. It’s not an absolute necessity in terms of the long term success of the program, but a Rosco return would send a strong signal to the rest of the roster and the conference about Coach Haase. After four years on the Farm, Rosco doesn’t “owe” the program anything, but my best guess is that he’d leave next season as a certain first round pick if he builds on the success of this season.
The fact that Rosco forsook a chance to walk out on Senior Day says that at some level he was considering returning to Stanford. There is nothing to suggest that he’s closed that door permanently. Here is his official statement on the matter:
“It has always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA. The Stanford coaches, teammates, and personnel have afforded me the opportunity to pursue this dream. The new NCAA rules give me a chance to be evaluated by the best minds in basketball, and to compete against great talents. I have discussed this decision with my family, my coaches, and my teammates, and they completely support me.”
Logistically speaking, Rosco has until 10 days after the conclusion of the NBA draft combine (May 11-15 in Chicago) to remove his name from draft consideration. He will be allowed to work out for one NBA team in addition to the feedback he gets from the combine. If invited to the combine, Rosco will be allowed to work out with Stanford's coaches from the time he receives his invitation until the time he withdraws from the draft. His workouts would be limited to the NCAA in-season rules of four hours a day and up to 20 hours a week. So, essentially, Rosco has now until May 26 to return to Stanford.
Again, nothing about his statement suggests that Rosco is gone never to return. If he gets a good eval, he’s likely gone. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he gets a good eval and decides to return to Stanford. Rosco has an NBA skill set, he’s got the versatility that the game is increasingly craving, and he certainly projects the stability that risk averse GM’s love.
On the flip side, Rosco has not yet proven himself an elite defender, and could probably stand to put on some weight before heading to the NBA. At the end of the day, he deserves support regardless of the path he chooses. As I stated above, his decision clearly impacts Stanford’s 2016-17 season, but it wouldn’t be a crippling long term blow if he leaves.
To paraphrase the philosopher David Wooderson, it’d just be a lot cooler if he stayed.