Jalen Crutcher

Draft Notes: Garza, Mike, Thompson, Ross, Crutcher

Iowa star Luka Garza has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and is set to return with the Hawkeyes for his senior season, he announced on social media Sunday.

Garza is an early frontrunner for National Player of the Year, with the 21-year-old center hoping that his team can compete for a championship next season. He averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season, leading the Hawkeyes to a 20-11 record.

“My heart is in Iowa City,” Garza said in a statement. “I love this place too much to leave it. I love my teammates, coaches, community, fans and university. I don’t care how many games we were able to play, I want to be here and wear IOWA across my chest one more time. It would have been too hard to close the book without the last chapter. I have decided to return to the University of Iowa for my senior season.”

Here are some other draft-related notes tonight:

  • SMU junior Isiaha Mike has signed with Chemnitz in the German BBL, agent Adam Papas told Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Mike will decide on October 6 whether to stay in the 2020 NBA Draft, Goodman notes. “Isiaha has a child that he was ready to provide for,” Papas said. “He feels like a year of pro development gets him closer to a NBA roster next season either via a draft and stash this season or being in next year’s draft. There’s too much uncertainty with the G League/2-ways.”
  • Oregon State swingman Ethan Thompson has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and is set to return to school, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. Thompson averaged 14.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season.
  • Pepperdine guard Colbey Ross is withdrawing from the draft, he told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Ross held per-game averages of 20.5 points and 7.2 assists last season, shooting 40 percent from the field and 35% from deep.
  • Dayton guard Jalen Crutcher will return for his senior season and withdraw from the draft, as relayed by David Jablonski of the Dayton Daily News (Twitter link). Crutcher averaged a career-high 15.1 points this past season, raising his shooting percentage to 47%.

Draft Updates: Bey, Robinson-Earl, Fitts, Crutcher, More

Villanova head coach Jay Wright expects both Saddiq Bey and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to test the NBA draft process, he told reporters on Wednesday (Twitter link via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports). Bey currently ranks 21st overall on ESPN’s big board, while Robinson-Earl is at No. 66, so it makes sense that they’re considering going pro.

Because neither player has made that decision official and Wright only “expects” them to declare, we’re not yet adding their names to our running list of early entrants. However, that list continues to grow. Here are details on some other players we’re adding today:

  • Saint Mary’s forward Malik Fitts will forgo his final year of college eligibility and go pro, signing with agent Charles Briscoe for representation, per Evan Daniels of 247Sports. Fitts, who averaged 16.5 PPG and 7.1 RPG on .472/.408/.799 shooting as a junior, made his decision official in a Twitter post.
  • Dayton junior guard Jalen Crutcher will test the draft waters, he tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) and announced on his own Twitter account. He’s coming off a season in which he averaged 15.1 PPG and 4.9 APG with a .424 3PT%.
  • St. Joe’s junior guard Ryan Daly, who averaged 20.5 PPG in 30 games this season, will declare for the draft while retaining his college eligibility, he tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link).
  • North Carolina State’s D.J. Funderburk and Devon Daniels, who each have one year of NCAA eligibility remaining, will test the 2020 draft waters, head coach Kevin Keatts announced today, per R. Cory Smith of 247Sports. “They will learn a lot more about what the NBA folks think about them,” Keatts said of the Wolfpack duo. “They will take the feedback and make an informed decision.”
  • Butler sophomore forward Jordan Tucker announced today on Twitter that he’s entering the 2020 NBA draft pool. “Being able to play in the NBA has been my dream since I was kid and I am excited to take this next step toward reaching it,” Tucker wrote.