Damien Jefferson

Draft Notes: Cockburn, Dosunmu, Ayayi, Carr, More

Illinois will have two important players back on campus next season as center Kofi Cockburn and guard Ayo Dosunmu have both withdrawn from the NBA draft, writes Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog. Cockburn made an impact in his first collegiate season, averaging 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 31 games. He announced his decision today on Twitter.

“He’s coming back to improve on all aspects of his game,’’ said Karriem Memminger, who serves as a mentor to the 7-footer. “He feels like there’s so much more he wants to show to the next level (NBA). He’s never satisfied. He wants to win a Big Ten championship followed by a national championship. And he wants to be selected to first team all-conference. Plus he loves the coaching staff and Illinois fans, who he feels are the best fans in college basketball. His dream is to become an NBA player and an NBA All-Star.’’

Dosunmu, who made his decision Friday night, averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game as a sophomore. He was among the players invited to this year’s draft combine.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Joel Ayayi has decided to return to Gonzaga for his junior season, Zagoria tweets. Ayayi averaged 10.6 points and 6.3 rebounds this year and was named Most Outstanding Player in the West Coast Conference Tournament.
  • Point guard Marcus Carr has decided to bypass the draft and return to Minnesota, writes Marcus Fuller of The Star Tribune. A transfer from Pitt, Carr set a school record this season with 207 assists and was a Third Team All-Big 10 selection by the media. “I am dedicating this season to my brother, and I can’t wait to be out on the court with my teammates in front of Gopher nation,” Carr wrote in a text.
  • Damien Jefferson and Denzel Mahoney will both return to Creighton next season, according to a tweet from head coach Greg McDermott.
  • Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe will return to school for his junior season, tweets Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. Joe averaged 16.9 PPG this year.
  • Colorado guard McKinley Wright has elected to pull out of the draft and return to school next season, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

205 Early Entrants Declare For 2020 NBA Draft

The NBA has released the official list of early entrants for the 2020 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 205 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 163 are from colleges, while 42 are international early entrants.

That number falls just short of the previous record for early entrants, established in 2018. Two years ago, 236 early entrants declared for the draft, though ultimately only 91 of those prospects remained in the draft by the final deadline. A year ago, 233 early entrants declared, with 98 remaining in the draft.

This year’s total of 205 early entrants also figures to shrink significantly by June 3 and again by June 15, the two tentative deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool — assuming those dates aren’t pushed back. But it still looks like the pool will remain crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants likely to exceed 60, the number of picks in the draft.

Our list of early entrants is now up to date and can be found right here. Here are today’s updates:

College underclassmen:

The following players were listed on the NBA’s official breakdown today, but weren’t yet noted on our own list.

The following players reportedly declared for the draft or planned to, but weren’t named in the NBA’s official announcement today. As such, we’ve removed them from our list.

International players:

The following players were listed on the NBA’s official breakdown today, but weren’t yet noted on our list.

  • Philippe Bayehe, F, Italy (born 1999)
  • Vinicius Da Silva, C, Spain (born 2001)
  • Imru Duke, F, Spain (born 1999)
  • Michele Ebeling, F, Italy (born 1999)
  • Dut Mabor, C, Italy (born 2001)
  • Sergi Martinez, F, Spain (born 1999)
  • Joel Parra, F, Spain (born 2000)
  • Mouhamed Thiam, C, France (born 2001)
  • Andrii Voinalovych, F, Ukraine (born 1999)