On the Links: Projecting Moultrie; Freshmen Leave; Valley Dropped

Good morning from Canton, Ga., which is a few miles north of Atlanta. We’re here visiting friends, but I’m still working. In fact, I’ll be at Turner Field on Friday night to watch the Braves and Nationals and will catch up with Tyler Moore, the former MSU standout who’s now playing left field for Washington (and playing well).

So look for that story on Sunday. As for right now, we have some things to discuss.

• The NBA Draft is tonight (6:00, ESPN, ESPN3.com), and Arnett Moultrie is expected to break MSU’s 16-year first-round drought (CLICK HERE). Exactly where he’ll go is a good question, because once you get past the lottery picks, parity reigns.

I asked Jay Bilas, an ESPN college basketball analyst, about Moultrie earlier this week. “He has lapses like a number of big guys. That’s where he can improve. I think he’s kind of a mid-first-round pick, in the early teens to early 20s. I like his ability level,” Bilas said.

In his latest mock draft today (behind the pay wall), ESPN.com’s Chad Ford has bumped Moultrie up a few spots, projecting him as the 15th pick to Philadelphia. The 76ers could try and trade up to get someone else, and you might see a lot of wheeling and dealing tonight, so mock drafts at this point are little more than educated stabs in the dark (actually, that’s always the case).

I’ve had zero luck getting a response from Moultrie (I’m not the only one), so I doubt I’ll hear from him tonight after he’s picked. I’ll be bringing you coverage nonetheless.

As for any other Bulldogs who might get picked, I don’t see either Renardo Sidney or Dee Bost getting drafted, but stranger things have happened.

Back to Moultrie, I noted in today’s story that he would make three Bulldogs selected in the first round of a major draft this year. Fletcher Cox went 12th overall to Philadelphia in the NFL Draft, while Chris Stratton was picked 20th by San Francisco in the Major League Baseball Draft. One other school, Texas A&M, could pull off the same feat. But I don’t know that Khris Middleton will go in the first round; Ford projects him going 48th overall.

• MSU has lost a couple of football players, with freshmen Nick Schuessler and Adarrius Perkins bidding adieu less than a month after arriving (CLICK HERE). No official reason was given, but homesickness is probably a good guess.

Schuessler is a quarterback, so that could hurt MSU as far as depth, now that it’s down to two scholarship QBs again. But State has walk-on freshman Jamil Golden, who was pursued by some SEC schools, and I doubt there’s much if any dropoff from Schuessler to Golden, who’s a dual-threat guy. Perkins, a receiver, probably won’t be missed with the depth MSU is building there.

• MSU is hunting an opponent for the 2013 football season after having to cancel its game with Mississippi Valley State (CLICK HERE). Since I’m in the mood for making educated guesses today, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alcorn State take Valley’s place, but MSU isn’t quite ready to announce anything.