Quinton Rose was in his hotel room in Fort Worth, Texas, when the news began to sink in.
Temple coach Aaron McKie had just informed him and his teammates in a post-practice meal early last month that there would be no conference tournament because of the coronavirus outbreak, and his senior season was over. A path to the NCAA Tournament that seemed unlikely for Temple now wasn’t even an option.
Rose, who has the best chance of Temple’s graduating seniors to hear his name read during the NBA draft in June, was suddenly thrust into an already uncertain time in his career, now with added, unprecedented circumstances.
“We’re all just clueless right now,” said Rose, who has been in contact with graduating players from other NCAA teams. “We’re all saying that it’s just crazy that it happened to us the year we came out and graduated. We all just don’t know, and we’re going about it the same way.”
In any other year, this would be the time Rose would set a workout plan, and get ready for the predraft process to show his worth. Now, that entire process is out the window.
In a memo sent across the league this month, the NBA said teams would no longer be able to conduct in-person workouts and are prohibited “from watching, requesting, or sharing any video (live or recorded) of a draft-eligible player or prospective early entry player taking part in a workout” while the league is shut down.
Teams are unsure whether the NBA draft will happen on its planned date of June 25 and some assume it will not. The league’s priority is finishing this season.
Teams will have to rely on game film and live observations their scouts have already recorded. Players that are of significant interest to teams will be able to interview with them over video or phone calls with a time limit of four hours.
Rose, who led the Owls in scoring (16.4 ppg) and minutes per game (33.4) this season, could be at a significant disadvantage because of the changes to this process. He likely could have qualified for the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament as well as the NBA draft combine in Chicago and would have had several in-person workouts.
Although no decisions have been announced, the NBA draft combine, scheduled from May 21-24, is expected to be canceled. The Portsmouth Invitational, scheduled for April 15-18, was called off.
What Rose was able to do was hire an agent, signing this week with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, saying that decision was a “no-brainer ... to get me where I want to go, as long as I do my part.” Where he wants to go, Rose said when asked to state the obvious, is the NBA.
Several NBA scouts have lauded Rose’s talent and athleticism, which could have been put on display against other big names in predraft workouts and scrimmages. What could hold him back is his streaky shooting along with his inability to find consistency in all facets of his game.
Without a chance to show off in person, Rose finds his resume is just about set in stone.
“He certainly passes the eye test of being an NBA player where he’s long, he’s athletic, he can run,” McKie said of the 6-foot-8 guard. “But it’s one of those things you don’t know because he’s probably not going to get a chance to do that in front of those teams. So it’s still a wait-and-see kind of thing. But I still think he’s got a really good chance of getting onto one of those NBA rosters.”
Rose is home in Rochester, N.Y., and has access to a nearby gym where he and his father shoot and work out frequently.
Communication between the NBA and players entering the draft has been muddled. Rose said he’s finding out non-specific information about his future through agents in contact with NBA officials. Even McKie, who has a bevy of NBA contacts, had little to add.
“It’s just different,” McKie said. “Everyone is continuing to work with a business-as-usual mindset as much as possible. But the reality is, so much is still unknown. All those things are up in the air. It could change in a week. It could change in a month. Who knows?”