Only Two Big East Players Currently Leaving Early for the NBA Draft

Michael Hickey

Semaj Christon and JaKarr Samspson look to make the jump.

With Duke star Jabari Parker's announcement yesterday, all eyes in college basketball now turn to the NBA Draft. The Big East has fewer star underclassmen in its ranks, and no real standouts in the "Year of the Freshman", but a couple of notable players are leaving the college ranks for greener* pastures after this season.

Semaj Christon makes the jump after his sophomore season at Xavier, where he averaged 17.0 points and 4.2 assists per game last season. He's projected to be a mid-second round pick.

JaKarr Sampson is leaving St. John's, also after his sophomore year. He scored 12.8 points and grabbed 6.1 rebounds a contest but is on the cusp of going undrafted altogether (serves him right for going to St. V's for high school).

In the past, Big East players have played a big role on draft night but this season the revamped conference will probably have a more understated presence. In 2013, NBA teams drafted six Big East players, four in the first round. 2012 saw eight conference players picked in the first or second round. This year, DraftExpress.com has only three Big East players (and one undergrad) in its 64-pick mock draft.

*Get it? Greener, as in money.

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