SMU’s Semi Ojeleye officially announced on Sunday that he will be signing with an agent and remaining in the NBA Draft.
Ojeleye was one of the biggest difference-makers that had yet to make a decision. He had an all-american caliber season as a junior with the Mustangs, averaging 19.0 points and 6.9 boards while shooting 42.4 percent from three to lead SMU to a 30-win season. If he had returned to SMU, the Mustangs would have been a top 15 team and he would have been a contender for National Player of the Year.
But Ojeleye turns 23 in December. He has a very good chance to be a first round pick this year. It makes sense for him to head to the NBA.
Ojeleye was one of the ten most influential NBA Draft early entry decisions left to be made.
Archie Miller is losing a third underclassmen to the professional ranks.
James Blackmon Jr., who averaged 17.3 points for the Hoosiers as a junior, will not be returning to school. He is signing with an agent and will remain in the NBA Draft. Blackmon is not projected as a first round pick and there is a good possibility that he will end up going undrafted on June 22nd.
The news was first reported by FanRag Sports.
Blackmon joins sophomores O.G. Anunoby and Thomas Bryant in signing with an agent. Robert Johnson, another junior, has declared for the draft but has yet to make a decision on whether or not he will hire an agent.
Blackmon, to his credit, received his degree from Indiana over the weekend.
Utah forward Kyle Kuzma announced on Wednesday night that he has hired an agent and will keep his name in the NBA Draft.
A 6-foot-9 forward from Flint, Michigan, Kuzma averaged 16.4 points and 9.3 boards as a junior this past season, but saw his three-point shooting numbers slip as he was asked to play a larger for with Jakob Poeltl off to the NBA.
Kuzma had just finished his fourth season with the Utes, having redshirted his first season on campus, which means that while he had a year of eligibility remaining, he had already completed his degree.
Losing Kuzma is a major blow for Larry Krystkowiak, as there is no guarantee that Kuzma will get drafted. He’s projected as a late second round pick, but could very easily find himself looking at being an undrafted free agent in June.
North Carolina and Theo Pinson announced on Wednesday that the 6-foot-6 wing will be returning to school for his senior season.
“I’m glad I took the time to explore the NBA Draft process but I am going to play my senior year as a Tar Heel,” said Pinson in a statement. “It was a dream of mine to play college basketball at the best school and in the best league in the country, and it is a dream of mine to play in the NBA as well. The best path for me to reach the league and have a long career there is to have a great senior season and I am so excited to have that opportunity to play another year for Coach Williams and finish my degree as well.”
As a junior, Pinson averaged 6.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists despite battling foot injuries throughout the year. A former five-star prospect, Pinson has developed into a key role player for the Tar Heels, a guy that fits in perfectly on the wing.
Last week, Joel Berry II announced that he would be returning to school for his senior season as well, meaning that Roy Williams is currently waiting on two decisions: Tony Bradley and Kevin Knox. Bradley is a potential first round pick if he opts to head to the NBA, but he’s also a guy that could end up being one of the five best big men in college basketball should he return to school. Knox, a top ten prospect in the Class of 2017, would be the ideal replacement for Justin Jackson on the wing. He is expected to make a decision soon, and will reportedly be picking between UNC, Duke, Kentucky and Florida State.
If the Tar Heels get both of those players, they’ll likely end up being the preseason No. 1 team in the country.
Indiana sophomore forward Thomas Bryant will remain in the NBA Draft and sign with an agent, according to multiple reports.
Bryant was thought to be a potential lottery pick last season before he decided to return to school for his sophomore year, where he averaged 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks for an Indiana team that eventually missed the NCAA tournament.
As it stands, Bryant, who was invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago later this month, is projected as a mid-to-late second round pick.
He is the second Indiana Hoosier to sign with an agent with eligibility remaining. O.G. Anunoby, who missed the end of the season due to a knee injury and is projected to be taken in the middle of the first round, signed with an agent as well.
New Indiana head coach Archie Miller is still waiting to hear from James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson, who both declared for the draft but have yet to sign with an agent.
Over the weekend, Baylor’s all-american center Johnathan Motley received word that he had been invited to the NBA Draft combine in Chicago later this month.
That must have been the icing on the cake, because the 6-foot-11 Motley is expected to sign with an agent and forego his final season of eligibility, according to a report from CBS Sports.
Motley averaged 17.3 points and 9.9 boards for the Bears last season. At one point in the year, Baylor had climbed into the No. 1 ranking in the country, but their ended the season with a 12-6 record in the Big 12 and a loss in the Sweet 16 to the East Region’s surprise Final Four team, South Carolina.
Making this decision more complicated, however, is that Motley, who is already 22 years old and a redshirt junior, is a borderline first round pick that is currently recovering from a torn meniscus that he suffered in that season-ending loss. Will he be able to play in workouts and at the combine? If he does, will he actually be in shape?