In news likely to shock no one, the two college freshmen long projected as the top two picks of the 2008 draft are all but set to make their departures from campus.
From MyFox Kansas City:
During a Monday evening press conference in Manhattan, Kansas State's Michael Beasley announced he is declaring for the NBA draft.
Beasley admitted "money is a pretty big factor." He said going pro is the right decision for him and his family. He also said he's ready to raise his "game to the next level."
Beasley's coach, Frank Martin, had said he'd be surprised if Beasley made any other decision than to turn pro.
And from CNBC:
Derrick Rose -- who took his Memphis Tigers all the way to the National Championship Game and could be the No. 1 overall pick -- is going to pick Arn Tellem of the Wasserman Media Group to represent him in the NBA Draft in June.
Yep, no shockers to be found here. The only surprise would be if these two didn't go first and second in June.
Rose and Beasley have been regarded almost unanimously as the best NBA prospects the college game has to offer, and thus far, it's been hard to dispute that.
As we've written before, Beasley is a physical specimen with the potential to be -- pardon the phrase, in the wake of BALCO -- "Shawn Marion on steroids" in the best way possible (again, that is meant as a compliment, and I can't stress that enough that it is not an implication that Beasley has any history with performance-enhancing drugs).
Though his team choked down the stretch of the national title game last week, Rose is a stud at the point. His quickness is stunning. He has very nice size for a point guard (6-foot-3, 205 pounds), runs the break well and isn't afraid to take (and make) tough shots in traffic. Definitely a dude that plenty of teams in this league will be thrilled to have aboard.
The top two in this draft likely won't receive the once-in-a-lifetime hype that last year's duo did, but they have earned plenty of credit in their own right. While it would have been ideal to have seen them decide that a full four-year education was more important to them than the NBA, as the reality stands, it will be a pleasure to watch these guys as they embark on their tenures in the Association. So here's hoping neither becomes a Knick.