Jacob Toppin

Draft Decisions: LaRavia, McGowens, Abogidi, Bolton, More

Wake Forest junior forward Jake LaRavia will remain in the 2022 NBA draft rather than returning to school and taking advantage of his remaining NCAA eligibility, he announced on Twitter. LaRavia, who spent a single season with the Demon Deacons after transferring from Indiana State, is considered a borderline first-round pick. He currently ranks No. 32 overall on ESPN’s big board.

Meanwhile, Nebraska guard Trey McGowens is also going pro and remaining in the draft rather than using his final year of college eligibility, according to a press release from the school. Unlike his brother Bryce McGowens – who is the No. 29 player on ESPN’s board – Trey isn’t in the top 100, so he’s a long shot to be among the 58 players drafted later this month.

While LaRavia and McGowens will remain in the draft, the following early entrants are withdrawing, according to various reports and announcements:

Terquavion Smith Among Latest Early Entrants Declaring For Draft

NC State freshman guard Terquavion Smith is entering the 2022 NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility, he tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Smith, who currently ranks No. 39 on ESPN’s big board of 2022 prospects, said he’ll make a final decision after getting feedback on his draft stock.

“I will be working out for teams and seeing how high I can get in the draft,” Smith told ESPN. “I’m signing with a NCAA certified agent to maintain my eligibility. I want to be taken with a high pick — top 20. I want to be able to contribute effectively to an NBA team.”

In his first college season, Smith started 25 of 32 games and averaged 16.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 2.1 APG. The 19-year-old, who made 36.9% of 8.1 three-pointers per game as a freshman, told Givony he models his game after NBA players like Jordan Poole, De’Aaron Fox, and Anfernee Simons“guys who are electric off the bounce, who can create their own shot and shoot the ball.”

Here are several more updates on the 2022 draft pool:

  • UCLA freshman wing Peyton Watson is entering the draft and forgoing his remaining college eligibility, he announced on Twitter. Watson didn’t play much for the Bruins, logging just 12.7 MPG in 32 appearances off the bench, but he’s the No. 61 prospect on ESPN’s board.
  • German point guard Justus Hollatz, who tested the draft waters a year ago, will enter the draft pool again this year, according to agent Misko Raznatovic (Twitter link). Hollatz is currently a member of the Hamburg Towers in Germany.
  • Kentucky junior forward Jacob Toppin is testing the draft waters, according to an announcement from the school. Toppin averaged a modest 6.2 PPG and 3.2 RPG in 29 games (17.7 MPG) for the Wildcats in 2021/22.
  • Providence senior shooting guard A.J. Reeves is entering the 2022 draft and going pro, he announced on his Instagram account. Reeves has played in 107 games (88 starts) for the Friars over the course of his four years in the program.
  • After initially declaring for the 2022 draft last month, Saint Louis sophomore guard Jordan Nesbitt will withdraw and transfer, he tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).