A day after word broke that Villanova’s Mikal Bridges will be leaving school to go pro, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that teammate Jalen Brunson will follow suit. According to Wojnarowski, Brunson will enter the 2018 NBA draft and will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility.
“After careful consideration and prayer, I have decided to enter the June NBA draft and hire an agent,” Brunson wrote in an essay for ESPN.com.
Brunson, a two-time NCAA champion like Bridges, is coming off an incredibly productive junior year in which he averaged 18.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, and 3.1 RPG with a shooting line of .521/.408/.802. The performance earned him 2018’s Naismith and Wooden awards for College Player of the Year.
Although he’s just the 36th-ranked player on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, Brunson boosted his stock in this year’s NCAA tournament, making an impression on NBA scouts with his leadership and toughness. Givony has the junior point guard coming off the board at No. 26 in his most recent mock draft.