2012 NBA Draft: Will Moe Harkless Be A One-And-Done Boom Or Bust?

One-and-done: a strategy or career decision used by a NBA Draft prospect who declares for the draft after playing just one year of collegiate basketball (because of an age restriction set by the NBA).

For now and until his basketball career ends, that term will be used to describe former St. John's University forward Moe Harkless. However, whether the descriptor is used in a positive or negative way, for the rest of Harkless' life, is only known by the future.

For some -- like Carmelo Anthony, who helped lead Syracuse University to its first and only National Championship in 2003 before leaving to become a top 3 NBA pick, Chris Bosh (a seven-time All-Star and newly crowned NBA Champion), Derrick Rose ('11 MVP) and Kevin Durant (back-to-back NBA scoring champion) -- the term is used as a special asterisk. Not only does it say they were so good they didn't need any more years of development at the collegiate level, but also it says they were of a special breed that defied the odds.

However, for most others -- like former St. John's player Omar Cook or Syracuse's Donte Greene, who's careers could have been drastically different if they were patient and develop at the collegiate level -- the term one-and-done gives ammunition to so-called NBA and college hoops experts who'd like to see the NBA rule be extended or go away completely.

Harkless, the 6-foot-8, 207-pound prospect who earned the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year after averaging 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, is hoping his seemingly limitless potential can help him defy the odds and join the ranks of those current NBA stars.

Moe Harkless 2012 NBA Draft Video (via TheMikeSchmitz)

What They've Said

"Each workout Moe Harkless competes in helps bridge the imagination gap between "he's got potential" and "we want to use our pick and invest money to develop him". Bridging that gap is the key to guaranteed money. Harkless made plays on the college level, but as a projected wing in the NBA, he needs to prove that he can shoot well enough to play the position," --- SB Nation's Rumble In The Garden, May 31.

'With considerable size (6-9), supreme length and jumping ability, Moe Harkless has all the physical tools that teams covet, and at only 19 years of age is an ocean of untapped potential. Harkless is in the Paul George/Rudy Gay/Kawhi Leonard/Ariza mold—a freakishly athletic wing who can defend the 2 and 3. He is built like a small forward, has a little shooting guard in him, and has traits of a power forward, the position he played on an undermanned St. John’s team this past season," -- Eldon Khorshidi, SLAM Magazine (June 23).

What They Are Projecting (Mock Drafts):

ESPN.com's Chad Ford: No. 16 to Houston Rockets
NBADraft.net: No. 16, Rockets.
CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman: No. 18 to Orlando Magic.
CBSSports.com's Matt Moore: Not in first round.
DraftExpress.com: No. 16, Rockets.

Nugget:

If Harkless goes in the first round of the draft, he will become the first Red Storm player selected in the first round since Erick Barkley in '01 (No. 28 to Portland Trail Blazers).

What We Think:

If there's one thing that NBA scouts love, its a player who can score and help their team put points on the scoreboard. Despite having a group of very young players around him, and basically being the only option, Harkless did just that at St. John's.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Moe Harkless 32 36.1 6.0 13.3 45.2 0.5 2.5 21.5 2.9 4.3 67.6 2.8 5.9 8.6 1.5 2.5 1.6 1.4 2.3 15.5

For us, Harkless' offensive game reminded us a lot of former Providence guard Marshon Brooks, who had a very good rookie season with the Brooklyn Nets. However, Brooks spent four seasons with the Friars and slowly developed into a offensive juggernaut. The same can't be said about Harkless, who was very streaky in his freshman season.

At times, Harkless played at an All-American level netting 25-30 points per game and collecting double-digit totals in rebounding. Other times, he would disappear -- sometimes against very beatable opponents.

Over the course of the 2011-12 season, we saw a lot of potential with Harkless which is probably why many NBA mock drafts have him going in the first round. But, if you're spending a first-round selection on a guy you'd probably want him to either: develop over a few years or want him to play right away.

Harkless probably won't play right away, so unless he finds himself with a franchise stocked with veteran talent then we'd stay away from him.

For more on Moe Harkless and the NBA Draft, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. For everything on St. John's basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Rumble In The Garden.

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