Andy Hodges

Declaring for draft now may raise questions, but is a grown man’s choice

Mason Jones made a decision that is truly a grown man’s choice while we’re still waiting to hear what Isaiah Joe is going to go regarding going to the NBA.

When Mason Jones declared last week he’s putting his name into the mix to be selected for the NBA Draft that is currently scheduled for June, but may — or may not — happen at that time.

Isaiah Joe may be looking at making the same decision in the next few days or weeks. That is not known right now.

Neither are projected right now to even be picked in some of the mock drafts that are continuing right along in these uncertain times due to the global health crisis.

Of course the NBA only picks 60 players a year, so to not be on the board right now removes them from being kids and turns them into grown men.

When you make the decision to forego college eligibility with no guarantees, well, that’s fine and well but just remember they are making their first legitimate grown-up decision.

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman didn’t criticize Jones’ choice, although having the SEC’s leading scorer on the team for the next season would make the projections a little higher.

He supported the decision (at least publicly), but it would be interesting to hear his evaluation of whether Jones would have moved up on the boards (which is more money) by coming back to the Razorbacks.

Don’t throw injury out there. The numbers show he’s more likely to suffer a career-ending injury crossing Leroy Pond Dr. in heavy traffic than playing another season. If you don’t believe it, go ahead and try to cross when everybody’s back in town, even in the crosswalks.

Hopefully it will all work out.

While Jones is going while he is the co-MVP of the SEC this year along with Mississippi State’s Reggie Perry, Joe doesn’t exactly have the biggest numbers to bank on.

In Joe’s case, the projection numbers are all over the place. CBSSports.com has him at No. 18 while others don’t have him even listed on the board and a couple of others have him rated higher than Jones.

Of course at this point there is a lot of speculation whether the draft is even held as scheduled, although with the NFL announcing it’s holding their annual cattle call in Las Vegas as a TV-only event, the guess here is there will be a draft.

Don’t be surprised to even see a window open up to allow workouts, interviews and such for teams to evaluate potential players.

That is where Jones could possibly improve his stock.

Hopefully it works out great for both.

It’s their decision and it officially moves them to adulthood.

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