Julian Champagnie of St. John’s will give up his final two years of eligibility and enter the NBA draft, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Champagnie, who tested the draft waters last year before deciding to withdraw after injuring his wrist, called it “kind of a no-brainer” to try again this year.
He will retain agent Nick Blatchford of UNLTD Sports Group, who worked with him on NIL deals over the past year. Champagnie plans to head to Miami on Sunday to begin preparations for the draft. He is projected as a possible second-round pick and is listed at No. 59 on ESPN’s big board.
“I think last year was my time to be nervous,” said Champagnie, who averaged 19.2 PPG this season. “I’m happy, I’m ready for it. I came back last year and I’ve done enough. It’s my time to go. It’s an opportunity I have and an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. It’s a matter of taking your opportunity and seeing where it gets you.”
There’s more draft news to pass along:
- Florida’s Anthony Duruji has decided to skip his final year of eligibility and declare for the draft. In making the announcement on Twitter, Duruji stated that he will hire an agent and remain in the draft. Duruji, who averaged 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds for the Gators, is currently a long shot to be drafted and isn’t listed on the ESPN board.
- Auburn’s Jabari Smith has returned to the top spot in the latest mock draft by Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. Vecenie makes it clear that there’s not a consensus No. 1 choice this year, but Smith seems to carry the least risk. Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, who was the first choice in Vecenie’s last mock, drops to No. 2 as Vecenie calls him “more polarizing” than Smith among NBA talent evaluators. Duke’s Paolo Banchero, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey and Iowa’s Keegan Murray round out the top five.
- Banchero appears to have improved his draft stock during Duke’s NCAA Tournament run, per Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, who looks at draft-related stories to watch during the Final Four. Scouts have been impressed by Banchero’s abilities as an isolation scorer and a playmaker, according to Wasserman. Duke’s Mark Williams and AJ Griffin and Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji are also getting plenty of attention from scouts this weekend.
24 thoughts on “Draft Notes: Champagnie, Duruji, J. Smith, Banchero”
How about this UNC/Duke game more than living up to the hype so far
Game of the year candidate already & we still got 100secs left
Caleb Love just walked on the Final 4 stage & slapped tf out Coach K #GoneFishin #Love4MOP
I liked the look of Champagnie last year but his numbers all took a little bit of a hit when they should’ve improved.
20 points down to 19, 7.5 rebounds to 6.5, 89% FT% down to 78%, 38% from three down to 34%.
He did improve his steals and reduce turnovers which is good but was expecting more from him. My guess now is he will get a second round pick, do well in summer league, and be a two way player and probably settle in at the G League level.
Mark Williams has been putting up nice numbers this playoff run.
12-12 with 3 blocks shooting 100% from the field in the elite 8.
16-8 with 3 blocks shooting 100% from the FT line in the sweet 16.
15-8 with 5 blocks against MSU
15-7-5 and 5 blocks and again 100% from the FT line in the first round.
Good ability to not overplay his role as a key figure on this duke team. If he goes to the right team I think he can carve out a nice career for himself
Yea solid around the rim. But did anyone notice his lack of foot speed & balance when guarding one on one? Sometimes Duke had to go zone bc of it. He’ll def get drafted in the first round (Charlotte @ 14?), but I’d pit him behind Duren AND Koloko.
No lol definitely haven’t seen a lack of foot speed with Mark Williams. I think maybe you’re confusing him with someone else
He was in foul trouble early and often last night. And throughout the tournament, Duke has had to go 2-3 zone. Seems to have a lil trouble with one on one defense. Again, prolly the 2nd big off the board draft night.
Lol he’s literally the best 1v1 defender in the ACC, arguably the best in the nation. You sound like Coach K blaming the loss on him when he was arguably their best player all yr long. I think he’ll be the 4th or 5th big off the board after Chet, Orlando & Duren but he may well be the best defensive player in the draft & he’ll be off the board somewhere in the teens
Williams had trouble with Bacot last night, who is limited offensively. There are other bigs who defend better. Have not seen where he’s the best defender in ACC. Furthermore Banchero is Duke’s best player IMO. Agree to disagree…as for the draft, I meant to say he’ll be the 2nd big taken after the top tier of bigs (Holmgren, Banchero) and Duren are gone. 14 to Charlotte sounds abt right.
Limited offensively? Bacot is 1 of the best bigs in the country, he was runner up to the ACC POY. And Bacot was a cool 3-10 vs Williams last night. Mark Williams won ACC DPOY & won pretty easily. He’s definitely the best defender in the conference… I don’t consider Paolo as a big man, he’s more of a wing but I definitely think Orlando Robinson is gonna go ahead of Williams. I could see Williams going mid 1st to Charlotte tho or somewhere in the teens. Im pretty sure that’s where I had him going in the mock draft I posted here s couple weeks ago
Bacon is a back-to-the-basket big with no jumper or face up moves a la Timme. Duke got physically with him last night which disrupted him. Williams has tremendous team defense, I simply question his one-on-one defense drom what I’ve seen. Obviously you don’t, again agree to disagree…I see your point abt Banchero but he’ll play the 4 in NBA (Detroit most likely?), perhaps small ball 5…if Duren falls, Charlotte jumps on it. Then OKC, Indy & Toronto snatch up Williams quick fast.
Imagine the argument if everyone actually disagreed on Mark Williams’ draft value.
Williams is less awkward than Bol Bol & the like so wil probably be less popular. A basic 7’7″ wingspan.
Seriously are you gonna pick a #1 because he is less risky than the others?
It seems to me that this is just a bad way to go around that pick, if you can have the #1 you don’t wanna pick a good player, you wanna tray to pick a franchise changing talent, embracing the risks, as the rewards can be much higher!
The Jabari Smith you’ve linked was apparently drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2000.
His dad in fact!
Banchero has helped himself in this NCAA run. No way he doesn’t go top 3. Smith might have a better upside. But Banchero can step in and start next yr. Griffin has hurt himself. He did nothing against UNC. He didn’t shoot well. And he seemed out of it then. Should of been attacking the basket.
Williams is an NBA center. He needs work should go in 1st rd. Agbaji has looked good. He plays to win and is all about team ball. After Ivey he’s best 2guard. He plays off the offense and is efficient. His numbers come easy, it seems. This guy can be special in NBA. I don’t see Kings passing on him.
Lol you’re a lil too caught up in these tournament performances, probably bc you’re just now getting familiar with these guys. Scouts been watching Paolo for yrs & all throughout this season. He was already gonna be a top3 pick. The tournament is a showcase that introduces these prospects to casual fans but tourney performances aren’t gonna sway NBA front offices much. Andrew Wiggins was horrible in his tourney game & he still went #1 & got ROY. There’s countless examples of guys struggling in the tournament & being great in the league & vice versa. AJ Griffin is gonna be just fine. That 1 gm won’t mean anything as far as his NBA future. Try to fight recency bias, you got a strong case of it
I’m not caught up in anything. You know what your problem is lol. You think you have an answer for the way I think. I’m talking about one gm. The most important gm of his life mind you. Mathurin is a better talent at the 3. And again Griffin has hurt himself by his performance in the tournament. Happens every yr with players. They either move up or move down in draft.
Banchero started as the #1 pick in draft. He has fallen as low as 5 on some boards. You really must be a child to think you can just post anything on here. Without getting real knowledge thrown at you. Try keeping up kid.
I said Banchero has strengthened his case with the tournament. Even Charles has talked about this when tournament started. I just don’t need him to think for me. Like you need the NBA offices to think for you.
Even Charles? Lol agreeing with professional idiot Charles Barkley should be a dead giveaway that you might be talking crazy. As far as Ben Mathurin he’s def more of a 2 & he was pretty bad in his last gm vs Houston too. But Mathurin has been better than AJ all yr long, the tournament hasn’t changed anything in that regard. I’m guessing you missed AJ being dominant vs Arkansas just last weekend in the game that sent Duke to the Final 4. This is the recency bias I’m talking about. You seem to only factor in what you just saw & disregard the other hundreds of games these guys have played against each other over the yrs. As far as the rest of that rant lol wtf are you talking about? Slow/calm down, gather your thoughts & be a lil more coherent with your next comment
Listen child an argument has two sides. An opinion has no sides. Barkley brought up fact that Banchero should be considered the #1 pick. Before the tournament. He explained why and didn’t get why he was going down the draft boards.
So stop outing yourself by trying for ever to prove me wrong. Agreeing with Banchero always being a top pick is not big news. But according to media he’s played himself back to top pick contention. Something I just said he always was. What you can’t see thru those untrained eyes. Is Charles is agreeing with ME ….. catch up lol
More a two…… like Okongwu is a Center. We will never agree. Cause you got like 50 yrs of catching up to do. Then I still doubt you can see what I see. Real knowledge comes from playing and learning the game. I’m still a student. There is always new talent showing up. Like Jokic and Luka, Giannis, KD, Curry. That can change the game. It’s still basketball in the end. It’s not that complicated.
Griffin is a bonafide top 10 talent, regardless of tournament performance. I like Agbaji, has a good stroke and high bball IQ. Don’t know if he has the athleticism to be a difference maker at the next level. Seems more like a strong, solid high end role player who makes winning plays. Just short of an all star, but the type of winning player that helps a young franchise grow.
Griffin ws as high as top 4 before tournament. Just stating the facts. I’ve watched him plenty. He is top 10. And now I take Mathurin and Agbaji before him. Not because of what he didn’t do. But because of how they stepped up for their team. 5-10 in draft are very close to me. I think it will depend on team needs more this yr.