Notre Dame junior small forward V.J. Beachem will enter the draft without an agent, the school announced. The 6’8″ 21-year-old is a second-round prospect, checking in at No. 61 in Chad Ford’s ESPN.com rankings. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress doesn’t list him among his top 2016 prospects but pegs him 41st in his 2017 mock draft. He’ll be able to retain his college eligibility for next season if he pulls out by May 25th and refrains from hiring an agent.
Beachem holds plenty of promise as an outside shooter, having canned 44.4% of his 3-pointers on 5.5 attempts per game this season. Ford suggests he can play both forward positions, indicating the Fort Wayne, Indiana, native could have a future as a stretch four in the NBA. The ESPN scribe praises his defense, too, but it was only this season that Beachem became a starter for the Irish, and he averaged just 12.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game this year. Still, he stepped up at key times, striking for a career-high 22 points against eventual Final Four team Syracuse in January and averaging 16.7 points per contest in six total appearances during the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
He was 77th in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index coming out of high school, one spot ahead of Kris Jenkins, who went on to hit the buzzer-beating shot that gave Villanova the national championship this year. Beachem had one of his best games this season against North Carolina, the team that eventually lost to Villanova in the national final, scoring 18 points and playing all but one minute in Notre Dame’s Elite Eight loss.