Aamir Simms

Three Early Entrants Withdrawing From NBA Draft

The list of early entrants for the 2020 NBA draft continues to slowly thin out. According to a series of reports from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, three more players are removing their names from this year’s draft pool and returning to school for one more season.

Clemson forward Aamir Simms has informed Rothstein (Twitter link) that he’s withdrawing from the draft after testing the waters. Simms enjoyed a breakout junior year for the Tigers in 2019/20, averaging 13.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2.6 APG with a .474/.400/.705 shooting line in 30 games (31.6 MPG). He’ll return to Clemson for his senior season.

A source tells Rothstein (Twitter link) that Vermont guard Stef Smith is also heading back to school for his senior year rather than remaining in the draft. Smith was the Catamounts’ second-leading scorer as a junior, with 14.2 PPG and an impressive .423 3PT% in 33 games (28.4 MPG).

Finally, Nicholls State guard Andre Jones is withdrawing from the draft after testing the waters, he tells Rothstein (Twitter link). Jones, who transferred after two years at Little Rock, averaged 12.3 PPG and 2.8 APG on .513/.313/.732 shooting in 30 games (24.3 MPG) as a junior at Nicholls State.

None of Simms, Smith, or Jones showed up in ESPN’s list of the top 100 prospects in the 2020 draft class, so their decisions to pull out and return to school don’t come as a major surprise.

Draft Decisions: Alston, Mizzou, Diarra, French, More

Boise State forward Derrick Alston Jr. has entered his name in the 2020 NBA draft pool, he announced on Twitter. He’ll leave the door open for a possible return to school for his senior season.

Alston, who comes in at No. 98 on ESPN’s big board of 2020 draft prospects, averaged 17.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 32 games (33.0 MPG) in 2019/20. His three-point shooting fell off as his volume increased, dipping from 38.4% as a sophomore to 33.5% as a junior.

Alston’s father, Derrick Alston Sr., is a former NBA player who is currently the head coach of the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

Here are more early entrant draft decisions from across the NCAA:

  • Three Missouri players – sophomore guard Xavier Pinson and junior forwards Mitchell Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon – will test the draft waters, according to a press release from the school. All three played part-time roles for the Tigers in 2019/20, with Pinson averaging 11.1 PPG, good for second-best on the roster.
  • Jeff Goodman of Stadium reports a pair of early entries, tweeting that Eastern Kentucky sophomore guard Jomaru Brown and Vermont junior guard Stef Smith are declaring. A source expects Smith to return to school, Goodman notes.
  • According to Goodman (via Twitter), Kansas State junior guard Cartier Diarra is testing the draft waters. If he decides to withdraw, he’ll transfer to Virginia Tech.
  • Saint Louis junior forward Hasahn French and junior guard Jordan Goodwin are testing the draft waters, according to the school. Goodwin was Saint Louis’ leading scorer with 15.5 PPG, while French chipped in 12.4 PPG. Both players averaged double-doubles, with an impressive 10.4 RPG apiece.
  • Isiaha Mike (SMU), Nate Pierre-Louis (Temple), Paul Atkinson Jr. (Yale), and Aamir Simms (Clemson) each announced on their personal Twitter accounts that they’re entering the draft while maintaining their NCAA eligibility.