University of Utah sophomore center Jakob Poeltl will enter this year’s draft and plans to hire an agent, the school announced. The 7’1″ 20-year-old is the No. 8 prospect in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings and No. 10 with Chad Ford of ESPN.com. He’ll lose his college eligibility once he signs with an agent, so it appears he won’t withdraw from the draft by the NCAA’s May 25th deadline.
It’s no surprise that Poeltl is in this year’s draft to stay, given his intriguing size, his rebounding and shot-blocking acumen, and his coordination in the pick-and-roll, attributes Ford lists among the big man’s many strengths. He averaged 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game as he picked up Consensus All-American and Pacific-12 Player of the Year honors. His 64.6% shooting led the conference and was eighth in NCAA Division I.
Poeltl’s low-post game could use some work, according to Ford, but he scored a career-high 32 points against NCAA Tournament-bound Temple in a game this past November. Poeltl came to Utah from Vienna, competing on the amateur level in Austria and representing the country in international competitions.