Draft Decisions: Azubuike, Hands, Bowman, Reed

Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike is the latest early entrant to pull out the 2018 NBA draft, a source tells ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (Twitter link). Azubuike, the No. 77 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, had entered the draft without hiring an agent, but now appears poised to rejoin the Jayhawks for his junior year.

As a sophomore, Azubuike enjoyed a breakout season in 2017/18, averaging 13.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 1.7 BPG in just 23.6 minutes per contest for Kansas. The seven-footer will have another opportunity to declare as an early entrant in 2019.

Here are more of the latest draft decisions from early entrants in advance of today’s deadline:

  • Jaylen Hands, who ranks one spot behind Azubuike on Givony’s top-100 list, is also headed back to school, a source tells Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports (Twitter link). The UCLA guard will be a sophomore in 2018/19.
  • Boston College sophomore guard Ky Bowman will return to school for his junior year after testing the draft waters, according to Rothstein. Bowman had a big sophomore season for the Eagles, putting up 17.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 4.7 APG, but wasn’t considered likely to be drafted.
  • The Clemson basketball program got some good news today, according to Rothstein, who tweets that Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell are both withdrawing from the draft after testing the waters. Reed and Mitchell were the Tigers’ first- and fourth-leading scorers in 2017/18.
  • DePaul’s top scorer Max Strus will return to school for his senior year, the program announced today in a press release. “I’m glad I was able to go through the process and receive feedback from NBA teams,” Strus said in a statement. “Now we can look forward to my senior season at DePaul and we’re already working and getting better this spring as a team.”
  • Junior guard Tyler Hall is withdrawing from the draft and returning to Montana State, per ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (Twitter link). Hall averaged 17.5 PPG on .407/.372/.907 shooting in 2017/18.

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