Dexter Dennis

Draft Decisions: Dennis, Lewis, Green, Teague, Camper, Vogt

As Sam Vecenie of The Athletic observes within his latest big board for the 2020 NBA draft, the unusual circumstances surrounding this year’s NBA and NCAA calendars have created an unprecedented situation for early entrants.

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for players to pull out of the 2020 draft class is August 3. However, the NBA is allowing early entrants to declare up until August 17, since the draft itself has been postponed until October.

As a result, Vecenie confirms, an NCAA underclassman who is struggling with his decision could withdraw by August 3, then re-enter by August 17 if he has change of heart. At that point, he’d be forgoing his remaining college eligibility, but it would essentially give him an extra two weeks to make up his mind.

With that detail in mind, here are a handful of updates on players withdrawing their names from the draft pool:

  • Wichita State guard Dexter Dennis will return to school for at least one more year, he announced on Twitter. Dennis averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 28 games (25.8 MPG) as a sophomore for the Shockers.
  • James Madison guard Matt Lewis will head back to school for his senior season, he tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Lewis was, by far, the Dukes’ leading scorer in 2019/20, posting 19.0 PPG on .410/.373/.715 shooting in 30 games (35.6 MPG).
  • Northern Iowa’s AJ Green is withdrawing from the draft after testing the waters, a source tells Goodman (Twitter link). The 6’4″ guard is coming off a big sophomore year in which he averaged 19.7 PPG on .416/.391/.917 shooting in 31 games (34.8 MPG).
  • MaCio Teague is returning to Baylor for his senior year, he announced in a Twitter video. The 6’3″ guard previously spent two years at UNC Asheville before transfering to Baylor and averaging 13.9 PPG in 28 games for the Bears in 2019/20.
  • Siena swingman Manny Camper will return to school after testing the draft waters, the program announced in a press release. “Even though I couldn’t do a ton, it was still great to be able to get a little feedback from the NBA on what I need to work on and also what I do well that I can continue to improve on,” Camper said in a statement.
  • Cincinnati center Chris Vogt confirmed on Twitter that he’s rejoining the Bearcats for a “last go around.” The big man averaged 11.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 30 games (28.5 MPG) as a junior.

Draft Notes: Early Entrants, Haliburton, Hayes, Avdija

The list of early entrants for the 2020 draft continues to grow, with a trio of guards among the latest underclassmen to announce their intent to test the waters this spring.

Wichita State sophomore guard Dexter Dennis, Colgate junior guard Jordan Burns, and UNC Greensboro junior guard Isaiah Miller all made their draft announcements on Twitter.

Dennis averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 28 games (25.8 MPG) for the Shockers in 2019/20; Burns, a former Patriot Tournament MVP, posted 15.8 PPG, 4.5 APG, and 1.7 SPG in 34 games (32.4 MPG) for the Raiders; and Miller recorded a team-high 17.8 PPG to go along with 2.8 SPG as he earned Player of the Year – and Defensive Player of the Year – honors in the Southern Conference.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Even after the departure of Leon Rose, the head of the agency’s basketball department, Creative Artists Agency is having no problem continuing to fill out its roster with promising young players. CAA announced on Thursday (via Twitter) that projected lottery pick Tyrese Haliburton will be represented by the firm.
  • Ethan Strauss of The Athletic shares his “unconventional” top five for the 2020 draft, valuing efficiency and production over hype and athleticism and focusing on versatile players who have at least one elite skill. Based on those criteria, French wing Killian Hayes top Strauss’ board, followed by Obi Toppin, Haliburton, Onyeka Okongwu, and Isaac Okoro.
  • With the help of draft expert Fran Fraschilla, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com takes an in-depth look at Israeli swingman Deni Avdija, who is another candidate to be one of the first five players off the board in the 2020 draft. Fraschilla cautions that Avdija’s shot needs some work, but views him as this year’s top international prospect – above Hayes – and believes he belongs in the upper tier of the draft class.