Charles Bassey

Checking In On Early Entrants For 2019 NBA Draft

The NCAA’s deadline for early entrants in the 2019 NBA draft to withdraw and retain their college eligibility passed on Wednesday night at midnight. Although we relayed most of the draft decisions before that point, a few more trickled in late.

Most notably, Western Kentucky big man Charles Bassey, who appeared ready to go pro, had a last-minute change of heart and decided to withdraw from the draft, as Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports (via Twitter). Bassey, who had been a top-80 prospect on ESPN’s big board and was a candidate to be drafted, will instead head back to Western Kentucky for his sophomore season.

Meanwhile, a list of early entrant decisions from Jeff Goodman of Stadium includes two withdrawals that previously flew under the radar. According to Goodman’s list, Prairie View A&M forward Devonte Patterson and Redemption Christian Academy swingman Tony Goodwin II both pulled out of the draft before Wednesday’s deadline.

As our list of early entrants shows, that leaves almost an even split behind the college underclassmen who remain in the draft pool (88 players) and those who withdrew (89). However, the early entrant list hasn’t yet been finalized.

While the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline has now passed, the NBA’s withdrawal deadline doesn’t arrive until June 10, which means the league won’t formally issue a complete list of early entrants eligible for the 2019 draft until after that date.

In the weeks and days leading up to June 10, we can expect to hear plenty of updates on decisions being made by international early entrants, who weren’t subject to the NCAA’s deadline. A total of 59 international players showed up on the initial list of early entrants for 2019, but the majority of them will likely withdraw from the draft by June 10. At that point, we’ll have a complete picture of which players will be draft-eligible on June 20.

More Draft Decisions: Claxton, Bassey, Nowell, More

Draft decisions by this year’s early entrants continue to flood in as the NCAA’s May 29 withdrawal deadline nears. After relaying those decisions in a pair of posts already today, we’ve got more in the space below:

  • Georgia sophomore forward Nicolas Claxton will keep his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that Claxton is a potential first-round pick.
  • According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (via Twitter), Western Kentucky freshman center Charles Bassey will stay in the 2019 draft pool, barring a last-second change of heart. Bassey is the No. 80 prospect on Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.
  • Washington sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell is another early entrant who has decided to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility and stay in the draft, Goodman tweets. Nowell comes in at No. 92 on Givony’s big board.
  • Kentucky’s Nick Richards, a sophomore forward, will return to the Wildcats for at least one more season, he announced today in a video on Instagram.
  • South Carolina will get guard A.J. Lawson back for his sophomore year, as he announced today (via Twitter) that he’s withdrawing his name from the draft.
  • Bethune-Cookman head coach Ryan Ridder has informed Goodman (Twitter link) that both of his early entrants, Malik Maitland and Cletrell Pope, are heading back to school for another year.
  • Ohio State forward Kaleb Wesson is pulling out of the draft to return to the Buckeyes for his junior season, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
  • Bowling Green guard Justin Turner is heading back to school for his junior season, per Rothstein (via Twitter).
  • Weber State guard Jerrick Harding will withdraw from the draft and return to school for his senior season, he announced today (via Twitter).
  • Hampton junior guard Jermaine Marrow is withdrawing from the draft and retaining his NCAA eligibility, coach Buck Joyner tells Goodman (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Bol, Williams, Herro, Smart

With the 2019 NBA Draft Combine now over, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz and Kevin Pelton discuss the 2019 NBA Draft prospects whose stock rose or fell over the weekend, beginning with Croatian forward Luka Samanic, whose performance in his first game at the combine was good enough for him to shut himself down and put his name squarely within the first-round conversation.

The other players who impressed scouts and improved their stock include Florida State’s Terance Mann, Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton, Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby, and LSU’s Tremont Waters. Pelton was particularly impressed by Waters’ ability to knock down the NBA-three-pointer from off the dribble, an important skill in today’s NBA for a point guard.

As for those prospects who may have lowered their value, the list begins with two very productive All-American college big men – Tennessee’s Grant Williams and Kansas’ Dedric Lawson. Per the ESPN scribes, both may have put too much emphasis on their developing outside games during 5-on-5 action.

Additionally, Western Kentucky big man Charles Bassey and Utah State big man Neemias Queta both underwhelmed, with Schmitz saying both need improvement in different areas of the game (e.g. skill, fluidity, motor) before being ready to contribute at the NBA level.

There’s more from the lead-up to this year’s NBA Draft this afternoon:

  • If the Wizards are interested in a high risk-high reward option with the No. 9 overall selection, Oregon’s Bol Bol may be an intriguing pick, writes Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Despite struggling at the combine, Grant Williams does not regret playing in the 5-on-5 sessions, telling Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer that he’s “not just trying to show I can shoot, I’m showing I can defend… Be out there and be that guy who was there to win, and cheering on his teammates… I know that defensively I could have been a little better contesting shots. Being analytical — like I normally am — I play different guys certain ways, and that bit me a little bit.” Williams was dinged a bit for only measuring in at 6’6” and potentially being caught up in the “tweener” label.
  • The Celtics have three first-round picks, and while they may not end up keeping all of them, one prospect to keep an eye on for one of their selections is Kentucky guard Tyler Herro. Herro spoke with Boston brass at the combine and said they will be among the handful of teams he will workout for leading up to the draft, per A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
  • LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart is withdrawing his name from the 2019 NBA Draft and returning for his sophomore season in Baton Rouge, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

Draft Notes: C. White, Barrett, Culver, G. Williams

A number of draft-eligible prospects who attended this week’s combine decided against participating in today’s scrimmages, with at least one prospect leaving the event altogether.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported (via Twitter) that Jalen Lecque, who performed well during Thursday’s scrimmages, decided not to play anymore based on feedback to his family. Croatian forward Luka Samanic followed suit, as did Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky), Moses Brown (UCLA), and DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa), according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com (via Twitter), who adds that Brown is believed to have suffered an injury on Thursday.

Meanwhile, projected lottery pick Coby White (UNC) left the combine on Friday after interviewing with several teams, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). White’s departure will likely fuel speculation of a draft promise, and while it’s a possibility, there have been no reports yet suggesting that’s the case.

Here’s more on the draft:

Full List Of 2019 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 66 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from May 15-19.

While a small handful of top prospects often skip the event, that won’t be the case this year — Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are on the league’s list of 66 names, along with R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Darius Garland, De’Andre Hunter, and many more. Of course, those top prospects may not participate fully in all of the workouts and scrimmages at the combine.

A few more names figure to be added to this list, as a select number of the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp earlier in the week are expected to receive invites to the combine.

Here’s the full list of 66 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech (sophomore)
  2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke (freshman)
  3. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (freshman)
  4. Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS (OH) (N/A)
  5. Bol Bol, C, Oregon (freshman)
  6. Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee (junior)
  7. Brian Bowen, F, USA (born 1998)
  8. Ky Bowman, G, Boston College (junior)
  9. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan (freshman)
  10. Moses Brown, C, UCLA (freshman)
  11. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  12. Nicolas Claxton, F, Georgia (sophomore)
  13. Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  14. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  15. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas (freshman)
  16. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue (junior)
  17. Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland (sophomore)
  18. Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  19. Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Kansas (freshman)
  21. Kyle Guy, G, Virginia (junior)
  22. Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  23. Jaxson Hayes, F/C, Texas (freshman)
  24. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  25. Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest (freshman)
  26. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State (freshman)
  27. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  28. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia (junior)
  29. Cameron Johnson, G, UNC (senior)
  30. Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  31. Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State (sophomore)
  32. Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman)
  33. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana (freshman)
  34. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas (junior)
  35. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (NH) (N/A)
  36. Nassir Little, F, UNC (freshman)
  37. Charles Matthews, G, Michigan (junior)
  38. Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State (sophomore)
  39. Ja Morant, G, Murray State (sophomore)
  40. Zach Norvell Jr., G, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  41. Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington (sophomore)
  42. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville (sophomore)
  43. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn (sophomore)
  44. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford (sophomore)
  45. Miye Oni, G/F, Yale (junior)
  46. Eric Paschall, F, Villanova (senior)
  47. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s (junior)
  48. Jordan Poole, G, Michigan (sophomore)
  49. Jontay Porter, F, Missouri (sophomore)
  50. Kevin Porter Jr, G, USC (freshman)
  51. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (freshman)
  52. Cam Reddish, F, Duke (freshman)
  53. Naz Reid, C, LSU (freshman)
  54. Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska (junior)
  55. Luka Samanic, F, Croatia (born 2000)
  56. Admiral Schofield, G, Tennessee (senior)
  57. Simisola Shittu, F, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  58. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  59. PJ Washington, F, Kentucky (sophomore)
  60. Tremont Waters, G, LSU (sophomore)
  61. Quinndary Weatherspoon, G, Missippi State (senior)
  62. Coby White, G, UNC (freshman)
  63. Kris Wilkes, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  64. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee (junior)
  65. Zion Williamson, F, Duke (freshman)
  66. Dylan Windler, G, Belmont (senior)

Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga) and Matisse Thybulle (Washington) are among the potential first-round picks who aren’t on the NBA’s list of combine participants, as noted by Jeremy Woo of SI.com and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links).

Draft Notes: Bassey, Ward, Winston, Olinde

Western Kentucky freshman center Charles Bassey will declare for the draft without signing with an agent, the school’s media relations department tweets. The 6’11” Bassey averaged 14.6 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.4 BPG in 34 games for the Hilltoppers. He is currently ranked No. 53 on ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony’s Top 100 list.

We have more draft decisions:

  • Michigan State center Nick Ward has declared for the draft and hired an agent, he announced on his Instagram account. Ward averaged 12.9 PPG and 6.1 RPG as a junior, though he missed some late-season games due to a broken hand.
  • Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston will return for his senior season, according to a school press release. Winston was a consensus second-team All-American this past season, averaging a team-best 18.8 PPG and setting a Big Ten single-season record with 291 assists. He’s ranked No. 78 by Givony.
  • Louis Olinde, a 6’10” German forward, has declared for the draft, Givony tweets. The 21-year-old Olinde starts for Bamberg in Germany, where he’s shooting 38% from long range in the Basketball Bundesliga.
  • Aleksander Balcerowski, a 7’1” center from Poland, has also declared for the draft, according to another Givony tweet. The 18-year old has seen minutes with Gran Canaria in the EuroLeague and ACB Liga in Spain this season and would be one of the youngest players in the draft if he stays in.