THONWATCH continues today, this time with a bit of information from Scout.com's Evan Daniels.
Just spoke to Ed Smith, Thon Maker's (http://t.co/I9c4QyDKBk) mentor. Maker is tossing around the idea of going to college in December.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) April 9, 2015
What does this mean? Possibly what we speculated here yesterday -- that Maker may have but the horse before the cart in announcing his reclassification from the 2016 class to the 2015 class. That's not necessarily any indictment of Thon's ability or lack thereof in the classroom, either. Think if you had suddenly decided during your junior year of high school "Hey, I think I'm gonna just go ahead and graduate right now." Even for a player like Maker that will almost assuredly only spend on year in college, there's a number of required classes by the NCAA Clearinghouse for a player to become eligible.
Here's the more nefarious side of a possible choice by Maker to enroll in college in December: he'd be able to play college basketball without ever really attending college. For the sake of conversation, let's say Thon comes to Indiana. The first semester concludes December 18th, and he'd be eligible the next day if he enrolled for second semester. He'd miss most -- but not all of the non-conference schedule, play the conference schedule and the postseason, and then likely be gone from Bloomington begin draft prep in April. Sure, you'd like to think he'd attend classes and leave the school in good standing -- but there'd be almost zero repercussions if Maker never even set foot in a classroom at Indiana unless Crean imposed them internally, right?
But, wait, could he still jump to the 2016 NBA Draft if he only enrolled in December?
As far as I can tell...no.
The 2005 CBA where the draft elgibility requirements were written clearly state that an American high-school player must be one calendar year out of high school at the time of the Draft. But Thon isn't an American high school player, he's a Australian-Sudanese citizen playing currently in Canada. Yes, he spent time playing in the U.S., but won't complete his degree here. But for the purposes of the NBA, will he be considered a "international player?" From the text of the 2005 CBA:
(c) For purposes of this Article X, an “international player” is a player: (i) who has maintained a permanent residence outside of the United States for at least the three (3) years prior to the Draft, while participating in the game of basketball as an amateur or as a professional outside of the United States; (ii) who has never previously enrolled in a college or university in the United States; and (iii) who did not complete high school in the United States.
So there you have it. Section (b) would probably require him to stay a full year in Bloomington on wherever and wait for the 2017 Draft. But I wouldn't count out anything in this situation.
We'll probably have more tomorrow, because #THONWATCH is just now getting fun.