TUESDAY, 7:43am: Stone’s father refuted the reports, telling Roman Stubbs of The Washington Post that no decision has been made.
6:13pm: Stone isn’t expected to return to Maryland despite not hiring an agent, and his college career is likely over, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com. So, it looks like Stone won’t withdraw from the draft.
MONDAY, 5:45pm: Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone will declare for this year’s draft but hold off on hiring an agent, league sources tell Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). He can withdraw by May 25th and retain his college eligibility as long as he doesn’t hire an agent. The 7’0″ 19-year-old is the 18th prospect in Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider rankings, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress pegs him 24th.
Stone had a solid freshman season with the Terrapins, averaging 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 22.6 minutes. He also shot 56.8% from the field, in part because the post player did not have a 3-point attempt. Stone struggled with foul issues in Maryland’s three NCAA Tournament games, picking up four fouls in each while averaging 7.7 points and 3.7 rebounds.
His low-post skills make him the third-highest ranked center on Ford’s board and the sixth highest-ranked freshman on Givony’s prospect list. He is considered a physical player with outstanding low-post moves, excellent footwork and a soft touch around the rim. Ford also praises him for his shot-blocking, rebounding and passing, but he’s not considered an elite athlete and has to display a more consistent motor.
Dana Gauruder contributed to this post.