Basketball Recruiting - Bossi's Best: NBA Combine players who may return to college
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Bossi's Best: NBA Combine players who may return to college

Tony Bradley
Tony Bradley (AP)

The NBA Draft Combine takes place on Thursday and Friday in Chicago. The combine can make or break the Draft stock for some players and could ultimately change the fortunes of many college programs’ 2017-18 seasons. Here is a look at the combine invitees who haven’t hired an agent that could have the biggest impact with a return to college.

Draft projections are based on feedback that Rivals.com has gotten from NBA personnel.

His 2016-17 season: 10.9 points, 4.9 rebounds.

Current Draft projection: Undrafted.

What his return could mean: Arizona already got a boost from Allonzo Trier’s decision to return to school. If Alkins comes back, they will be rock solid on the wing. His scoring figures to go up and he was emerging as one of the top defensive wings in the Pac-12. The feedback he’ll get at the combine will be key and his Draft decision could ultimately come down to how much Alkins is willing to bet on himself.

His 2016-17 season: 6.9 points, 5.1 rebounds.

Current Draft projection: Second round.

What his return could mean: Playing behind experienced players like Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks, Bradley’s minutes were somewhat limited. As a sophomore, Bradley would be the defending national champions’ primary interior scoring option and he would likely contend for all-conference honors. If he stays in the Draft, the Tar Heels will have to rely on their trio of incoming freshman bigs more than they would like to.

His 2016-17 season: 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds per game.

Current Draft projection: Late first/early second round.

What his return could mean: There’s no question that Duke could use Jackson’s explosive scoring and his numbers would surely surge as a sophomore. If they land Trevon Duval, the Blue Devils will still lack for ball handlers but they will at least have an elite talent at the point. If they somehow miss on Duval and Jackson goes pro, Grayson Allen will be saddled with an awful lot of responsibility.

His 2016-17 season: 10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds.

Current Draft projection: Second round/Undrafted.

What his return could mean: Jackson was a big part of a strong freshman class that should take huge steps forward in 2017-18. If he comes back, he would be a legitimate double-double threat on any given night and provide the Terps with an inside/out matchup nightmare.

His 2016-17 season: 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds.

Current Draft projection: Second round/Undrafted.

What his return could mean: The Longhorns are going to be young next year, but they will also have a lot of talent as they look to climb out of the Big 12’s basement. If Jones comes back, he will give them a reliable scorer and a versatile guard capable of playing all three perimeter spots on the college level. A strong season could also propel him into the first round of next year’s Draft.

His 2016-17 season: 19.0 points, 6.9 rebounds (at SMU)

Current Draft projection: Late first/early second round.

What his return could mean: If the former Duke transfer returns, the Mustangs have a potential All-American and a guy that they can rely on to lead them in scoring and rebounding on a nightly basis. On top of that, he and junior-to-be guard Shake Milton could form one of the most productive duos in the country. If he leaves, they are going to be hard pressed to replace his production.

His 2016-17 season: 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds.

Current Draft projection: Late first/early second round.

What his return could mean: Should Swanigan return to Purdue, the defending Big Ten champs will be expected to make at least the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament and they could be legitimate Final Four contenders. Swanigan would likely be a preseason All-American and perhaps the favorite for National Player of the Year. One thing is for sure, the Michigan State-Purdue games will be epic if Swanigan returns.

His 2016-17 season: 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds.

Current Draft projection: Undrafted.

What his return could mean: A product of Germany, the bigger concern with Moritz could be a decision to go play overseas even if the NBA isn’t ready to draft him. He’s particularly important because it looks like D.J. Wilson is going to stay in the Draft. If that happens and Wagner doesn’t return, the Wolverines are going to be awfully lean on the interior. With Wagner back, they’ll have a proven scorer who really came into his own the second half of his sophomore season.