Courtney Ramey

Draft Notes: McBride, McNeil, Liddell, Ramey, Wheeler

West Virginia guard Miles McBride has decided to remain in the draft, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. McBride told Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins on Friday, sources tell Greg Carey of Metro News.

“This was definitely a difficult decision,” McBride said. “Huggs has done so much for me. I love West Virginia, the fans and the entire city of Morgantown. Leaving will be hard, but it’s always been my dream to play in the league. Leaving now gives me the best chance to do that.”

The 20-year-old was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore, averaging 15.9 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 29 games. He is ranked 33rd in ESPN’s list of the top 100 prospects and had a strong showing at last week’s combine in Chicago.

“The main reason was the feedback I got from the NBA’s undergraduate advisory committee. Being drafted in the late first to early second round is what I’ve heard the most,” McBride said. “I had a great week at the NBA combine and at my pro day, meeting with NBA teams and hearing from them directly how interested they are in me.”

There’s more on the draft:

  • West Virginia will keep Sean McNeil, who is expected to withdraw from the draft and return to school for his senior season, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. The shooting specialist averaged 12.2 PPG this year and connected at 38.8% from three-point range.
  • Ohio State power forward E.J. Liddell has decided to forgo the draft and return for another season with the Buckeyes, Givony writes in a separate story. Liddell had a breakout season as a sophomore, posting 16.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. “This was a pretty difficult decision,” he said. “No one in my family has ever been this close to getting to a professional league. After many conversations with my parents and coaches, I understood that returning was the best thing for me. Anyone can get signed to play in the NBA. I absolutely could have gotten a contract. But it’s not about getting in the NBA, it’s about staying in for the long term.”
  • Texas guard Courtney Ramey and Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler are also pulling out of the draft, according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter links).

Draft Notes: Carton, Ramey, Culver, International Prospects

Marquette sophomore guard D.J. Carton has decided to enter the 2021 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility, the program announced in a press release.

Carton, who transferred to Marquette after spending his freshman year at Ohio State, averaged 13.0 points and 3.4 assists per game in 27 contests (31.1 MPG) in 2020/21. However, he struggled with his three-point shot, making just 28.2% of his attempts after knocking down 40.0% as a freshman. He also turned the ball over 3.2 times per game.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Texas junior guard Courtney Ramey announced on Instagram that he’ll test the draft waters. Ramey averaged 12.2 PPG and 3.9 APG in 26 games (33.5 MPG) for the Longhorns in 2020/21.
  • As 247Sports.com first reported and as Schuyler Callihan of SI.com further details, West Virginia forward/center Derek Culver has decided to leave school and go pro, forgoing his senior year. He put up 14.3 PPG and 9.4 RPG in 29 games (26.3 MPG) for the Mountaineers as a junior.
  • It has been more challenging than ever for NBA teams to scout international prospects in person this year, but there are a handful of players overseas generating buzz as potential first-round picks. Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) and John Hollinger of The Athletic both took a closer look at some of those top international prospects, with a focus on intriguing Turkish big man Alperen Sengun.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report identifies three realistic targets for each NBA team with a first-round pick, based on their needs and where they’ll likely be drafting.