Manhattan junior forward Ashton Pankey plans to turn pro and enter this year’s NBA draft, as he tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter links). The 6’10” 22-year-old is an unheralded prospect who’s unlikely to be drafted, as he’s unranked in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress listings, and Chad Ford of ESPN.com doesn’t have a profile for him.
Pankey spent his first two years in college at Maryland, including a redshirt year in 2010/11, when he appeared in only one game before undergoing season-ending left leg surgery. He had a limited role on offense the next year, and after sitting out a season as he transferred to the Jaspers, he again had a single-digit scoring average in 2013/14. That changed this season, when he put up 13.4 points on 8.3 shots in 27.5 minutes per game, chipping in 6.7 rebounds per contest, too. He led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in fouls given this season, but Manhattan won the conference tournament and earned an NCAA Tournament bid, albeit for a play-in game, which it lost to Hampton.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Pankey end up with some predraft workouts for NBA teams and perhaps play in the summer league, but it still seems a long shot that he’ll earn an invitation to training camp. He’ll likely begin his pro career with a season in the D-League or overseas, though that’s just my speculation.