Isaiah Wong

Draft Decisions: J. Lewis, Wong, Flanigan, Pullin, More

Marquette forward Justin Lewis, who entered the draft this spring coming off his sophomore season, has decided to keep his name in the 2022 draft pool, forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility, reports Jeremy Woo of SI.com (Twitter link).

Lewis enjoyed a breakout year in 2021/22, averaging 16.8 PPG and 7.9 RPG on .440/.349/.761 shooting in 32 games (32.2 MPG) for the Golden Eagles. Lewis comes in at No. 45 on ESPN’s latest big board, though Woo suggests he has a chance to be a first-round pick.

With the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline only about 12 hours away, let’s round up several more of the latest draft decisions made by early entrants

  • Miami guard Isaiah Wong is returning to school for his senior year, he announced today (via Instagram). It’s the second time Wong has tested the draft waters and eventually pulled out, so if he declares again next season, he won’t have the option of withdrawing.
  • Auburn junior wing Allen Flanigan is withdrawing from the draft, while UC-Riverside junior guard Zyon Pullin is expected to do the same, reports Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter links).
  • The following players are withdrawing from the draft, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (all five are Twitter links): Memphis senior forward DeAndre Williams, senior guard Courtney Ramey, Samford junior guard Ques Glover, senior guard Donald Carey, and Virginia Tech senior forward Justyn Mutts. Ramey, who played for Texas last season, is currently in the transfer portal, while Carey is transferring from Georgetown to Maryland.

Draft Updates: Diabate, Nance, Wong, Gach, Mocks

Michigan freshman power forward Moussa Diabate will test the 2022 NBA draft waters, a source tells Jeremy Woo of SI.com (Twitter link).

In his first college season, Diabate averaged 9.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG on 54.2% shooting in 32 games (24.9 MPG), earning Big Ten All-Freshman honors. He’s currently the No. 69 prospect on ESPN’s big board, making him a borderline candidate to be drafted. If he can improve his stock during the pre-draft process, he would presumably be more inclined to keep his name in this year’s draft pool rather than returning to the Wolverines.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Northwestern senior power forward Pete Nance, the No. 95 prospect on ESPN’s board, has declared for the draft, he announced on Twitter. Although Nance says his “pure focus” is on making it to the NBA, he’s maintaining his college eligibility for now. The younger brother of Larry Nance Jr. averaged 14.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 2.7 APG on .497/.452/.768 shooting in 30 games (27.2 MPG) in 2021/22.
  • Miami junior guard Isaiah Wong will test the draft waters for a second straight year, he announced on Instagram. Wong, who has made back-to-back All-ACC third teams, averaged 15.3 PPG in 37 games (33.9 MPG) in 2021/22.
  • Dutch point guard Keye Van Der Vuurst is entering the draft, agent Keith Kreiter tells HoopsHype (Twitter link). Van Der Vuurst has won three Belgian League champinoships with Oostende since joining the team in 2018.
  • Utah senior wing Both Gach, who previously tested the draft waters in 2020, will enter the 2022 draft and forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility, he tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) published new, updated mock drafts on Monday.

Draft Decisions: Agbaji, Cockburn, Dickinson, Wong, More

Kansas wing Ochai Agbaji has decided to withdraw from the 2021 NBA draft and will return to school for his senior year, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

Agbaji, who was the No. 67 prospect on ESPN’s big board, averaged 14.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game for the Jayhawks last year, knocking down 37.7% of his three-point attempts in 30 games (33.7 MPG). Agbaji projected as a potential second-round pick, according to Givony, who refers to him as one of the best defenders at the NCAA level.

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for early entrants in this year’s draft is on Wednesday, so there are plenty of other prospects making decisions on their future today. Here are a few of the other early entrants who are pulling out of the draft and returning to school:

While a number of prospects are removing their names from the 2021 draft pool, some early entrants have made the decision to go pro. UCLA’s Chris Smith is one, posting a farewell message to Bruins fans on Instagram. Sources tell Rothstein (Twitter link) that Saint Louis forward Hasahn French is also going pro rather than returning to college.

Duke’s Matthew Hurt, Others Declare For Draft

Duke sophomore power forward Matthew Hurt is declaring for the 2021 NBA draft and will hire an agent, forgoing his remaining college eligibility, he told Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

Although the Blue Devils didn’t have a great season, missing out on a spot in the NCAA tournament, Hurt was a bright spot. He averaged 18.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in 24 games (32.7 MPG), posting an impressive shooting line of .556/.444/.724.

Hurt’s performance earned him a spot on the All-ACC First Team, as well as the conference’s Most Improved Player award. He’s the No. 48 prospect on ESPN’s big board, making him a realistic candidate to be drafted in July.

Several more prospects who are part of ESPN’s top-100 list have also announced that they’re entering the draft. Here’s the latest:

  • Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior): On the heels of winning national title, Mayer announced on Instagram that he’ll enter the draft while maintaining his NCAA eligibility. The No. 53 prospect on ESPN’s board came off the bench again for the Bears in 2020/21, averaging 8.1 PPG with a .395 3PT%.
  • Santi Aldama, F, Loyola Maryland (sophomore): Aldama averaged a double-double (21.2 PPG, 10.1 RPG) with a .513/.368/.686 shooting line in 17 games (35.0 MPG) as a sophomore, earning All-Patriot League First Team honors. The No. 57 prospect on ESPN’s board, Aldama told Jonathan Givony that he’s testing the draft waters.
  • David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore): Johnson, the No. 67 prospect on ESPN’s list, announced on Twitter that he’ll be forgoing his remaining college eligibility and going pro. He enters the draft after a sophomore season in which he averaged 12.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 3.2 APG in 19 games (35.1 MPG).
  • Isaiah Wong, G, Miami (sophomore): Wong announced on Twitter that he intends to test the draft waters, leaving the door open to return to the Hurricanes. The 6’3″ guard averaged 17.1 PPG in 27 games (35.5 MPG) in 2020/21, earning himself a spot on the All-ACC Third Team.