FAYETTEVILLE — BJ Young and Marshawn Powell entered their names into the 2013 NBA draft in March following the 2012-13 season, but neither of them heard his name called Thursday.
Young was the team’s leading scorer for the past two seasons and declared for the 2012 NBA draft following his freshman season, but withdrew his name with the hopes of working his way into a lottery pick. The St. Louis native saw his shooting percentages drop, however, and was not selected Thursday. ESPN analyst Jay Bilas had Young as the No. 3 "best available" player when the draft ended.
During his freshman season, Young shot 50.4 percent from the field, including 41.3 percent from beyond the arc, but saw his field goal shooting percentage lower to 44.9 percent and his three-point percentage fall to 22.7 percent. His free throw percentage also dropped from 74.3 percent his freshman year to 66.9 percent during his sophomore year.
"BJ Young actually regressed this year, in my opinion," ESPN analyst Chad Ford said of Young, prior to the draft. "I thought in lot of ways he was better as a freshman than he was as a sophomore.
"Some of that can be the dynamics of the team and the chemistry and things like that, but he struggled to hit jump shots," Ford said. "He was a guy that I thought was a lock for the first round at the start of the season."
Young and Powell were both named second-team All-SEC players following last season. Young posted a season-high 29 points in the Las Vegas Invitational against Arizona State, scored 27 at Missouri, 26 against Northwestern (La.) State and 25 against Syracuse, Tennessee and in the Razorbacks’ only road win at Auburn. He also hit late, go-ahead buckets that lifted Arkansas past Oklahoma, Missouri and Georgia and made a key three-pointer in the second overtime of a home victory over Auburn.
In an article by Sports Illustrated writer Seth Davis, he said he interviewed five scouts who spoke on the condition of anonymity and said what they had to say "isn’t always pretty." This proved to be true in Young’s case.
"I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole," Davis reported a scout as saying. "He just goes on his natural talent. I don’t think he really knows how to play. I’ve heard he doesn’t work real hard during the summer. He can’t shoot and he’s wild."
Powell, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward, went undrafted, even though he averaged 14.5 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game and shot a career-high 34.6 percent beyond the arc during his redshirt junior season. The 23-year-old Newport News, Va. native overcame several injuries during his career, including a broken hand, a broken foot and torn ligaments in his right knee.
Powell ranks 22nd on Arkansas’ career-scoring list with 1,283 points. He also has 528 rebounds, 120 assists and 96 blocked shots, making him one of five Razorbacks with at least 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 100 assists and 75 blocked shots. The other four on that list are Todd Day, Corliss Williamson, Scott Hastings and Ron Huery.
"He had a tremendous junior season after recovering from a knee injury and was a big part of the success that we had this season," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said after Powell announced he would forego his final year of eligibility. "He is a skilled forward who can stretch the defense because of his ability to shoot. He can also create by putting it on the floor and has a nice post-up game. I feel that his best basketball is in front of him."
Little Rock native Archie Goodwin, who played one season at Kentucky, was drafted in the first round with the 29th overall pick by Oklahoma City, but the Thunder agreed to a trade to send his rights to Golden State and the Warriors traded his rights to the Phoenix Suns. The 6-foot-4, 191-pound guard averaged 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for the Wildcats.