USC junior point guard Julian Jacobs will enter this year’s NBA draft, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical. He’s undecided about hiring an agent, a move that would prevent him from returning to the Trojans for his senior year even if he withdraws by the May 25th deadline. Rankings indicate the 6’4″ 22-year-old is a long shot for the draft, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com doesn’t list him and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him as only the 75th-best junior. However, executives from NBA teams are fond of his drive, and they expect it won’t take long during the predraft process for Jacobs to make it clear that he’s worthy of a second-round pick, Charania writes.
Jacobs had a breakout season of sorts, averaging double figures in points for the first time and significantly raising the volume of his assists while his number of turnovers held steady. He posted 11.6 points, 5.4 assists and 2.7 turnovers per game and shot 32.6% from 3-point range, the best percentage of his college career.
The Las Vegas native nonetheless slumped toward the end of the season, scoring fewer than 10 points in four of his last seven games and delivering a clunker in USC’s first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Providence, a game in which he scored eight points and had three assists and five turnovers. It was a sour ending to a college career that began auspiciously, as he became a starter in just his second game for the Trojans. He was outside the top 100 in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index coming out of high school in 2013.