After leading UCLA to the Final Four, Johnny Juzang will withdraw from the NBA draft and return for his junior season. Juzang announced his decision on Twitter about an hour before the NCAA’s Wednesday deadline of midnight Eastern Time for early entrants to pull out of the draft and retain their eligibility.
“Going through the draft process has been an amazing experience,” he wrote. “I was blessed to connect with great people, learn and grow, and get a feel for life at the next level. I want to thank everyone who has helped me in this process including my family, trainers, school and especially my dad who helped me for countless hours!”
There was talk that Juzang might be a first-round pick after an outstanding performance in the NCAA tournament, but a disappointing showing at the combine hurt his status, according to Chad Ford (Twitter link), who speculates that he could be back in first-round consideration next year.
There’s more on last-minute draft decisions:
- Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas is also returning to school, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Abmas posted a statement on Instagram calling the draft process “a great learning experience,” but he thinks he would benefit from another year of college. Abmas, ranked 48th on ESPN’s big board, led the nation in scoring at 24.5 PPG and was named Summit League Player of the Year. Givony notes that he had a poor showing at the combine, shooting 3 of 18 from the field in scrimmages, which may have influenced his choice.
- Most of the players who announced their decisions Wednesday opted to withdraw from the draft. Some exceptions are Georgia Tech’s Jose Alvarado (Twitter link from Jeff Goodman of Stadium), Howard’s Makur Maker (Twitter link from Jon Rothstein of CBS) and Saint Louis’ Jordan Goodwin (Twitter link).
- Among those returning to school for another season will be Central Florida’s CJ Walker (Twitter link), Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon Jr. (Twitter link), Wichita State’s Tyson Etienne (Twitter link), SMU’s Kendric Davis (Twitter link), Rutgers’ Ron Harper Jr. (Twitter link), UCLA’s Cody Riley (Twitter link), USC’s Isaiah Mobley (Twitter link), Vanderbilt’s Scotty Pippen Jr. (Twitter link) and Kevin Obanor, who will transfer from Oral Roberts (Twitter link).
14 thoughts on “Draft Notes: Juzang, Abmas, Last-Minute Decisions”
The Pistons may really prefer taking Jalen Green, a lot of people think he could be the best player in the draft. All this talk about Cade being the clear cut top pick right now is ridiculous, it could easily go either way. The biggest question right now is whether the Cavs are going to take Mobley or Suggs at #3. It seems extremely unlikely that Green will fall to Cleveland.
Very edgy take bro
Everybody and their dog knows Cade is going 1
How sad is it that someone thinks four lines is too much to read? That’s more of a poor indictment of you than of him.
You’re also the guy who changed his name from HardenWestbrookmvp to walladipoandwood to wallywood or something. How is anyone supposed to trust you?
It took you 4 posts to make that lame take? Also three sentences isnt TLDR that’s just you trying to be edgy.
Juzang would have gone in the First, but probably late first. He could be a lottery pick next year.
He was not projected in the first round. Although he is talented, he needs to work on his game to play in NBA.
It would have been close. His NCAA tourney resume helped him a lot, but the combine took some air out of the tires. Another good year at UCLA could definitely help him. Could be similar to how Buddy Hield pushed himself up the draft ladder by staying in school. But Juzang will have to THRIVE in college for it to work.
rutgers is looking good with harper jr. returning. they had a good year last year, time to take the next step.
Juzang made a good decision. If he got drafted at all, it was going to be a late second round flyer. Right now, he’s got a star’s game, without the requisite talent level to be a star in the NBA. He needs to change his game a bit, and that’s the best reason to go back to the college ranks where he’ll get the minutes to do it.
And with the new ncaa rules, he can still make some money while he works up his game.
I don’t think we’ll be seeing many more like Jalen Green, skipping college for the Gleague.
I hope you wrong & we do see many more doing just like Jalen Green… is not only ’bout the money, but the level of competition in the G-League is years light above the NCAA, is as simple as playin’ against men in a professional environment or playin’ against kids in a non-professional level on top of the difference in talent & competitiveness which is much greater in the G-League!