Kentucky’s NBA Draft decisions have obviously dominated the conversation on this website, but how are the Cats’ foes looking ahead of tomorrow’s early entry withdrawal deadline? Here’s a running list of who’s staying in the draft, who’s returning to school, and who’s still undecided as we close in on the final hours of limbo.
Undecided: Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson
It’s already been a rough week for Kansas after prime target RJ Hampton announced he’s taking his talents to New Zealand. Now, Bill Self has to wait to hear what Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson will do. If both stay in the draft, the Jayhawks’ backcourt will take a huge hit; however, Kansas did get a break last week when the NCAA ruled forward Silvio de Sousa eligible for the upcoming season.
Staying in draft: Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, Marques Boldon
Returning to school: Javin DeLaurier
It was obvious the Blue Devils were going to lose the big three of Zion, RJ, and Reddish, but Marques Bolden announced yesterday that he will also remain in the draft, foregoing his final year of eligibility. That made fellow big man Javin DeLaurier’s decision to return to Duke a little easier. He’ll share Duke’s frontcourt with Jack White and freshmen Matthew Hurt and Vernon Carey. Point guard Tre Jones, who did not declare for the draft, will give the Blue Devils some much-needed experience in the backcourt.
Staying in draft: VJ King
Returning to school: Steven Enoch
Undecided: Jordan Nwora
Forward VJ King was going to transfer from Louisville even if he took his name out of the draft, but the Cards got some good news today when center Steven Enoch announced he’s returning to school. Enoch averaged 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds as a junior last season, but the big decision Chris Mack is waiting on is from forward Jordan Nwora, who averaged 17.0 points and 7.6 rebounds as a sophomore.
Staying in draft: Nick Ward
Returning to school: Cassius Winston
Kentucky’s first opponent of the season got some good news today when Marquette forward Joey Hauser committed to play for Tom Izzo, although he’ll have to sit out the 2019-20 season. Regardless, the Spartans will be stacked. The loss of big man Nick Ward to the draft was offset by the return of point guard Cassius Winston, the Big Ten Player of the Year who decided to come back for his senior year.
Returning to school: Kaleb Wesson
When Ohio State plays Kentucky in Las Vegas on December 21, they’ll be led by big man Kaleb Wesson, who announced today he’s returning to school for his junior season. Last year, he averaged 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
Staying in draft: Grant Williams
Undecided: Jordan Bone
Bone is still mulling things over, but most — including Rick Barnes — believe he’ll remain in the draft. Bone was one of the best point guards in the SEC last season, so his decision has huge implications for the Volunteers, who will already be in rebuilding mode after losing Admiral Schofield and Kyle Alexander to graduation.
Staying in draft: Naz Reid, Tremont Waters
Returning to school: Javonte Smart, Skylar Mays, Marlon Taylor, Emmitt Williams
Of LSU’s six players to declare for the NBA Draft, four are returning to Baton Rouge next season. Javonte Smart, Skylar Mays, and Marlon Taylor will help fill the void left by Tremont Waters, who will stay in the draft, while Emmitt Williams and his short shorts will take over for Naz Reid on the inside.
Staying in draft (reportedly): Nic Claxton
Jonathan Givony reported a few hours ago that Georgia forward Nic Claxton will stay in the draft, although Claxton said on Instagram that he still hasn’t made his mind up:
Georgia’s Nic Claxton just posted this to his Instagram addressing reports he will remain in the NBA draft.
“I haven’t made a decision yet I’m still consulting with my family.” pic.twitter.com/htFeuiCJFg
— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) May 28, 2019
Claxton averaged 13.0 points and 8.6 rebounds last season for the Dawgs and is a projected first round pick. Getting him back for another season would be huge for Tom Crean.
Returning to school: A.J. Lawson
Yes, that’s Pitbull you hear because Frank Martin is celebrating. A few hours ago, South Carolina guard A.J. Lawson announced he’s coming back to school, which is big, big news for the Gamecocks. Lawson averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists last season and was named to the SEC All-Freshmen Team.
— Frank Martin (@FrankMartin_SC) May 28, 2019
Undecided: Reggie Perry
After averaging 9.7 points and 7.2 rebounds last season, Reggie Perry is still contemplating a jump to the pros. Perry earned an invite to the NBA Draft Combine after turning heads at the G-League Elite Camp.
Undecided: Andrew Nembhard
Florida’s starting point guard has one more NBA team workout to go through before making his final decision on whether or not to stay in the draft. As a freshman, Nembhard averaged 8.0 points, 5.4 assists, and 2.9 rebounds.
Staying in draft: Darius Garland, Simi Shittu
Darius Garland made his intentions clear when he left school back in January, but on Friday, Vandy big man Simi Shittu announced he’s staying in the draft as well. As a freshman, the former five-star recruit averaged 10.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and is projected to go undrafted.
Staying in draft: Daniel Gafford
Predictably, Daniel Gafford is staying in the draft after his sophomore season at Arkansas. Yesterday, first-year coach Eric Musselman added another transfer in guard Jimmy Whitt Jr., who actually played for the Razorbacks his freshman season before transferring to SMU. He’s the fifth transfer to commit to Arkansas since Musselman took over in April.
Staying in draft: Chuma Okeke
Undecided: Jared Harper
Jared Harper, who burned Kentucky in the second half of the Elite Eight nightmare, has yet to announce if he’s keeping his name in the draft or returning to school for his senior season, but Jeff Goodman is reporting that he’s leaning towards staying in alongside fellow Tiger Chuma Okeke. If so, Bruce Pearl will have quite a rebuilding project on his hands after also losing Bryce Brown, Horace Spencer, and Malik Dunbar to graduation. Ain’t it a shame.
UPDATE: Tennessee’s Jordan Bone announced he is staying in the draft. Reggie Perry announced he is returning to Mississippi State.