With the NCAA making changes to its rules regarding athletes entering the NBA Draft, there’s now more time to gather the accurate information needed to make a decision. NCAA players have up until ten days after the conclusion of the NBA Draft Scouting Combine (May 25 this year) to withdraw and thus maintain their college eligibility. However there’s no such rule at the junior college level, and that distinction has cost a former Syracuse commit his eligibility at that level.
According to Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard, Northwest Florida State forward Moustapha Diagne can no longer compete at that level as a result of his decision to enter the NBA Draft earlier this spring.
There’s no such thing as “testing the waters” at the junior college level; once you’re in the Draft pool that’s it when it comes to playing at that level. As a result Diagne has three choices: pay his own way at a junior college next year, do so at a Division I institution or attend a Division II school. Of those three, the only way Diagne would be able to play college basketball next season would be if he were to go the Division II route.
Does Diagne look to remain at the college level, or does he keep his name in the Draft and instead look to catch on with an NBA D-League or overseas team? That remains to be seen, and the road to a pro career at this time will be tough for a player who wasn’t invited to this week’s Combine in Chicago.
For a player who at the time of his signing with Syracuse was expected to compete for minutes, Diagne’s road to college basketball hasn’t been particularly smooth since he graduated from Pope John XXIII High School in New Jersey.