11:46am: Hunter confirmed his decision in an interview with Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, adding that he’s been told he’ll likely be drafted between the 15th and 35th overall picks.
8:07am: Georgia State junior shooting guard R.J. Hunter will soon formally announce that he’s entering this year’s draft, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The NCAA Tournament hero is the 20th-ranked prospect on Chad Ford’s ESPN.com list, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him 27th.
Hunter hit a long three-pointer with 2.7 seconds left to seal Georgia State’s upset of No. 3 seed Baylor on the first full day of the tournament, sending his father and coach Ron Hunter tumbling on the sidelines and giving March another iconic moment. Still, R.J. Hunter was well-positioned for a shot at NBA glory even before that, having continued to climb prospect rankings this past season. He was 59th among Givony’s top prospects when he declined to enter the draft last year. He cooled after a hot start vaulted him into consideration for a mid-first-round pick earlier this season, but his passing ability has him poised to play a prominent role as an NBA sixth man, as Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors writes as he ranks him 19th in our latest Draft Prospect Power Rankings.
The 6’5″ 21-year-old averaged 19.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 37.0 minutes per game this season for the Panthers, who compete in the Sun Belt Conference. He made 39.5% of his three-pointers as a sophomore and 35.4% for his college career, but he was just a 30.5% three-point shooter this season.