Maryland's Melo Trimble and Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes are in Chicago this week for the NBA Draft Combine. But they might be heading back to College Park and Madison real soon.
According to a tweet from ESPN's Jeff Goodman, people from around the NBA think the two Big Ten stars would be better served going back for another year of college hoops than trying their luck in next month's NBA Draft.
Two guys nearly every NBA guy I have spoken to here at Combine agree need to go back to school: Melo Trimble and Nigel Hayes.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 13, 2016
Thankfully for Trimble and Hayes, who might not be impressing NBA teams on the West Side, new rules allow them to return to their respective schools with their NCAA eligibility intact. It's part of the sure-to-be beneficial new process that allows underclassmen to declare without hiring an agent, participate in the Combine and team workouts and still go back to school after finding out far more information than they would have under the old process.
Both players had strong seasons a year ago, each leading their teams to the Sweet Sixteen, but that's not to say both guys were perfect despite their All-Big Ten seasons.
Trimble displayed better ball-distribution skills and better defense than he did in his spectacular freshman campaign but saw his scoring and shooting numbers plummet. Meanwhile, Hayes was inconsistent at the start of the season, part of the reason the Badgers limped out of the gate. But his performance was also part of why Wisconsin turned on the jets during Big Ten play and stormed back to an NCAA tournament lock.
The return of both players would surely be a boost to their respective teams. If Trimble returns to Maryland, he'd be the lone starter back from a squad that made the program's first Sweet Sixteen since 2003. If Hayes comes back to Wisconsin, it would mean Greg Gard would return all five starters and practically the entire roster in his first full season as head coach.