EC Matthews v DeAndre Bembry and why I don’t get the NBA Draft

Quick Tuesday morning thought: I don’t get the NBA Draft.

As a college hoops fan I’m probably not meant to get it, but was looking at a 2016 Mock Draft this morning and felt compelled to post this blog post.

6’5 190 Junior
16.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.0 apg
96.1 offensive rating
48.8% effective fg%, 53.8% true shooting%
4% offensive rebound%, 12.1% defensive rebound%
14.8 assist rate, 22.3 turnover rate

6’6 210 Junior
17.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.6 apg
100.1 offensive rating
48.6% effective fg%, 51.2% true shooting%
4.6% offensive rebound%, 18.7% defensive rebound%
24.4 assist rate, 16.9 turnover rate

Who ya got? projects player A as the No.15 pick in next year’s NBA Draft while player B is nowhere to be seen on that board. Player A, for those who haven’t figured it out already, is EC Matthews. Player B is DeAndre Bembry.

Can someone explain that to me?

Don’t get me wrong, I love EC Matthews and want to see the Atlantic 10 send as many folks to the NBA as possible — that greatly improves the NBA’s watchability for me personally (I prefer to see our guys at the next level having watched them through college) — but I’ve seen the Rhode Island standout receive NBA talk for a while now and wonder why it’s as though some players are targeted from the jump while others, Bembry in this case, can’t seem to get interest despite excelling on the court/in the stat sheet. Is EC Matthews really that far ahead of Bembry? Is he ahead of him at all? If you had one on YOUR squad next season, who are you taking?

Another example is that of Tyler Kalinoski. The 2015 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year was one of only five players in college basketball eligible for this year’s draft with a 2014-15 college offensive rating of 124.6 or higher. Three of those players were drafted within the top-20: Frank Kominsky at No.9, Same Dekker at No.18 and Delon Wright at No.20, while Iowa’s Aaron Wright was taken in the second round with the 49th pick overall, leaving Davidson’s Tyler Kalinoski as the only eligible offensive assassin undrafted. The 6’4 guard hit 42.3% of his three-pointers his senior season  (down from over 45% the previous year) and averaged 4.1 assists to just 1.4 turnovers per contest. He’ll get a shot to make his way to the league through the NBA Summer League, having been offered a roster spot with the Miami Heat (where he’ll join former VCU standout, Bradford Burgess), but wasn’t invited to this year’s NBA Draft despite being the leading scorer on the nation’s sixth highest scoring offense this past year.

I don’t get it.

Having said that I know there are a ton of NBA fans who will run down a list of reasons why I don’t get it and how the NBA is different from college, but I would also imagine a number of those folks are the same people who were making the case for Johnny Flynn over Stephen Curry in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Thought of the day: Who are the best players you have watched that didn’t make it to the NBA? Feel free to post those in the comments section on in a new thread on our forum.


Mat Shelton-Eide has been involved in college athletics since 2007, starting as a co-founder of where he covered the Rams all the way...
EC played hurt much of last year. Also he wasn't the only weapon for URI. Bembry had to carry the Hawks. However, I agree that Bembry is NBA-worthy too.
  • Coach Williams
  • July 10, 2015
Rashad Phillips from U of Detroit. According to most reports he dominated draft camps and everything else and was still never drafted.
  • Jerry Helzner
  • March 12, 2016
Bembry has offensive skills that remind me of a young Julius Erving when Dr. J was tearing up the ABA.
People who saw the ABA in the early 1970s saw a Dr. J that we never saw in the NBA.
I have really never seen a college player who reminded me so much of a young Dr. J
(Laugh if you want)
  • john m
  • March 28, 2016
@Jerry - I thought the same thing watching Bembry in Brooklyn!
Best player that i ever got to watch, that never got a fair shake in the NBA, URI's Pg Tyson Wheeler! Played 3 minutes in only 1 game, and scored 4 pts (on one attempt), with 2 assists..