There’s nothing quite like the NBA Draft to create tension and uncertainty in people who are otherwise impervious to such things.
Take Chasson Randle, for example.
The former Rock Island High School star, who recently completed a record-shattering career at Stanford University, is among the most affable and articulate college athletes in the entire country.
But he doesn’t want to talk about the NBA Draft.
Randle politely and apologetically is declining interview requests right now. He said he’s as much in the dark as anyone about what will happen Thursday night when NBA teams get together to divvy up the top college and international talent.
He'll wait and see what happens Thursday. Then he’ll talk.
Iowa forward Aaron White admits to having the same sort of edginess as the draft approaches.
"I think even if a kid knows he's going to be picked in a certain spot, I think he's still going to be nervous," White told the Detroit Free Press after doing an individual workout with the Detroit Pistons last week.
"I've been dreaming, thinking about this my whole life. In the grand scheme of things, June 25 is one day out of my career. I hope to be playing for a long time, but it's going to be nerve-wracking."
At least eight players from the Iowa-Illinois region have some shot at hearing their name called in the two-round draft, but none of them is a sure thing. All of them are on the edge of their seats with uncertainty.
There is Randle, who scored 2,375 points in four years at Stanford but at 6-foot-2 is on the small side by NBA standards.
There is White, who finished as the No. 2 scorer and No. 3 rebounder in Iowa history but who likely won’t even be considered until the second round.
There is White’s pal and teammate, Gabriel Olaseni, who started just one game at Iowa but opened some eyes in April at the Portsmouth Invitational for second-tier draft prospects.
Illinois’ Rayvonte Rice and Nnanna Egwu and Iowa State’s Bryce DeJean-Jones and Dustin Hogue also show up on various pre-draft websites.
Then there is Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle, who was named the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year after leading the Panthers to the best season in their history, but still projects as no better than a late second-round consideration.
The 6-foot-9 White is regarded as the best possibility to be drafted. Some observers feel he has a chance to go to the Pistons with the 38th overall pick and most mock drafts have him penciled into the middle of the second round.
White has been interviewed a few times following workouts with individual teams and always says he’s just blessed to be in a position to follow his dreams.
He noted in an interview after working out for the Chicago Bulls in late May that he thinks four years in the Big Ten has prepared him for what he’ll face in the NBA.
“I think it’s one of the best conferences,’’ he said. “The competition level that we played against, the scouting reports and coaches that you go up against. Obviously, it’s not the NBA, but it might be the next best thing in terms of how to prep yourself for the next level. So I think a lot of stuff that I learned in my four years at Iowa will help me going forward.”