Early Entry

Cliff Alexander, Aaron Harrison among early entrants not selected Thursday night


Given the fact that there are only 60 available draft slots and the number of eligible players are even higher, there are bound to be players who don’t get to experience hearing their name called at the NBA Draft. That was the case for some notable college players who made the decision to forego their remaining college eligibility to take their shot at the NBA Draft.

Among the players who weren’t selected were former Kansas forward Cliff Alexander, former Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison and former UNLV forward Christian Wood. Wood, a player some believed to have a shot at being selected in the first round heading into the draft, may have been the most surprising omission amongst those who left school with eligibility remaining.

MORE: Karl-Anthony Towns goes first overall | Four Kentucky players picked in lottery

Some players decide to turn pro in hopes of landing a job anywhere in pro basketball, which will explain some of the players on the list. And while not being selected is certainly a negative, those players will have the opportunity to figure out which summer league situation (in Orlando, Las Vegas or both) represents the best opportunity to earn a spot on a team’s training camp roster.

Thursday night represents a tough reality for these players, especially those whose draft status was hurt by issues away from the court. But even with that being the case, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road for them. Below is the list of college players with eligibility remaining who were not selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Cliff Alexander, Kansas
Brandon Ashley, Arizona
Michael Frazier II, Florida
Aaron Harrison, Kentucky
Jerome Hill, Gardner-Webb
Vince Hunter, UTEP
Charles Jackson, Tennessee Tech
Trevor Lacey, NC State
Ashton Pankey, Manhattan
Terran Petteway, Nebraska
Walter Pitchford, Nebraska
Michael Qualls, Arkansas
Jherrod Stiggers, Houston
Deonta Stocks, West Georgia
Aaron Thomas, Florida State (declared academically ineligible)
Robert Upshaw, Washington (dismissed mid-year)
Chris Walker, Florida
Christian Wood, UNLV

Reports: Syracuse freshman Chris McCullough to enter the NBA Draft


Chris McCullough will forgo the remainder of his collegiate eligibility to enter his name in the 2015 NBA Draft, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

RealGM.com was the first to report the news.

McCullough is a 6-foot-9 with terrific length and athleticism, and after a terrific start to his freshman season, McCullough was considered by most to be a likely first round pick. But in mid-January, McCullough tore his ACL after an awkward landing, an injury that ended his season and will likely keep him out until the beginning of next year.

He ended the season averaging 9.3 points, 6.9 boards, 2.1 blocks and 1.7 steals.

Draft Express currently projects McCullough as the No. 21 pick in the 2016 draft.

LSU’s Jordan Mickey to enter the NBA Draft


LSU’s Jordan Mickey ended the speculation and made it official: he will be entering his name in the 2015 NBA Draft.

“After discussing my options with my family, I believe this is the time to move on and accept new challenges at the next level,” Mickey said in a statement that was texted to reporters.

Mickey, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 15.4 points, 9.9 boards and 3.6 blocks as a sophomore for LSU this season. He’s an athletic player with the kind of length that makes scouts drool, but he’s also an undersized power forward at the next level. Mickey’s not a shooter at this point in his development, a major reason why he was projected by Draft Express as a second round pick in the 2016 draft.

Mickey is the second front court player to declare for the draft from LSU. Jarell Martin made it official that he will be going pro earlier this month.

Louisville to lose Terry Rozier, Montrezl Harrell to NBA Draft; Anton Gill to transfer


Rick Pitino announced during a press conference on Monday afternoon that both Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier will be declaring for the NBA Draft.

“They are both leaving,” he told reporters. “100 percent.”

It’s not a surprise that either player is leaving. It was long assumed that Rozier would be off to the NBA after this season, and Harrell actually surprised some folks when he decided to return to school for his junior season.

The Cardinals also lost sophomore guard Anton Gill to transfer on Monday, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

Rozier finished his sophomore year averaging 17.1 points and 3.0 assists, proving himself to be one of the smoothest scorers in this year’s draft class. A 6-foot-1 combo-guard, Rozier certainly has the athleticism and scoring ability to play in the NBA, but his lack of pure point guard skills limit his upside.

Harrell averaged 15.7 points and 9.2 boards as a junior, although he didn’t exactly improve his perimeter jumper the way that he had hoped. Harrell, who has a future in a Kenneth Faried-esque role at the next level, shot just 9-for-37 from three this season. Three of those nine threes game in the season-opener against Minnesota.

Draft Express currently projects Harrell as a mid-to-late first round pick while they have Rozier slotted in the early second round.

Gill played in 31 games and averaged 2.5 points per game during his sophomore campaign. He had a key stretch against N.C. State in the Sweet 16 in which Gill had three baskets during a six-minute stretch. The sophomore averaged 9.5 minutes per game.

Texas freshman Myles Turner declares for the NBA Draft


Texas freshman Myles Turner will be entering his name in the 2015 NBA Draft.

“My name is Myles Turner, UT alum, and I’ve decided to forgo my education and enter my name in the 2015 NBA Draft,” Turner announced in a video posted on youtube on Monday morning.

Turner was the No. 9 player in the Class of 2014, according to Rivals, and has been considered a one-and-done candidate since his stock skyrocketed late in his junior season of high school.

As a freshman at Texas, Turner averaged 10.1 points, 6.5 boards and 2.6 blocks. Early in the year, he really struggled against elite competition, but as the season progressed, Turner started to play better. He’s got a nice touch from the perimeter and a go-to move in the post — a quick, face-up jumper that is very difficult to block given his extremely high release point. Defensively, he needs to add some strength, but he has the length and timing to one day be a good shot-blocker at the next level.

Turner is currently projected by Draft Express as the No. 12 pick in the draft.

Florida junior Michael Frazier II declares for 2015 NBA Draft


Florida guard Michael Frazier II will be leaving school early and entering the NBA Draft, Frazier announced on Twitter.

Frazier averaged 12.1 points as a junior, shooting 38.0 percent from three in a year where the Gators struggled mightily. Florida went just 16-17 this season, losing a number of close games and missing out on the NIT all together.

Frazier holds the Florida record for three-pointers made in a game — he hit 11 in a 37 point performance in 2013-2014 — and he played for Team USA in a U19 tournament after his freshman season. But Frazier suffered a high-ankle sprain in Florida’s loss to Kentucky in Gainesville this season, forcing him to miss seven games. He was not the same player when he returned.

Draft Express had Frazier rated as a potential second round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft prior to his announcement, although his athleticism, shooting ability and 6-foot-9 wingspan will make him an interesting prospect heading into the draft.