Jalen McDaniels

Draft Notes: McDaniels, Ponds, Oni, Nwora, Childs

San Diego State forward Jalen McDaniels, the No. 36 prospect on ESPN’s big board, has elected to forgo his remaining college eligibility by hiring an agent and entering the 2019 NBA draft pool, the school announced this week.

“We appreciate the positive contributions Jalen made to our program and to the University,” head coach Brian Dutcher said. “Jalen now has the opportunity to pursue his life-long goal of playing in the National Basketball Association. We wish him and his family well.”

McDaniels, who has a chance to be selected in the first round in June, entered the 2018 draft, but withdrew his name at the 11th hour and returned to the Aztecs for one more year. He averaged 15.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 2.1 APG in his sophomore season.

Here are more updates on early entrants for the 2019 draft:

  • St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds, who tested the draft waters a year ago, will enter his name in the draft pool again this year. This time around, the junior appears more likely to go pro, as he tells Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com (Twitter link) that he’ll hire an agent. Ponds is the No. 51 prospect on ESPN’s big board.
  • Yale junior wing Miye Oni, the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2019, has informed Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com that he’s declaring for the 2019 NBA draft. “I submitted my name to the Undergraduate Advisory Request to legally protect myself and my NCAA eligibility, but I have every intention of staying in the draft,” said Oni, the No. 53 prospect on Givony’s top 100. “I’ll be signing with agent Harrison Gaines of SLASH Sport.”
  • Louisville sophomore Jordan Nwora will test the draft waters, as Givony details at ESPN.com. Nwora, the 76th-rated prospect on ESPN’s top 100, will plan on going pro if he gets positive feedback from teams and evaluators this spring, but is leaving the door open to return to the Cardinals.
  • BYU junior forward Yoeli Childs, who withdrew from the 2018 draft after testing the waters, will once again enter his name in this year’s class, he announced this week (via Twitter). Based on his statement, it sounds like Childs intends to keep his name in the draft and go pro.

Draft Decisions: McDaniels, Cody & Caleb Martin

Forward Jalen McDaniels will return to San Diego State for his sophomore season, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN. McDaniels is part of a crop of late decision makers who waited until shortly before tonight’s deadline of 11:59pm Eastern to announce whether they are staying in the draft.

“After thoughtful consideration with my family and coaching staff, I have decided to return to San Diego State for my sophomore year.” McDaniels posted on Twitter“I’m looking forward to furthering my education and returning to the NCAA Tournament. Go Aztecs!”

McDaniels averaged 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in his first year at San Diego State. He held workouts with Cavaliers, ClippersTimberwolvesJazz, Warriors, CelticsNets, Hawks, Bucks, Spurs and Bulls, according to Mark Zeigler of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

In another significant last-minute decision, Nevada stars Cody Martin and Caleb Martin will both return to school, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Cody is ranked 90th and Caleb is 91st in the list of top 100 prospects compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, but Jeff Goodman of ESPN suggests the Wolf Pack could be a top 10 team next season with both staying (Twitter link).

There’s also news to pass along on pre-draft workouts:

Draft Notes: Huell, Rose, Pipkins, Caroline

With the deadline to withdraw from the draft coming on Wednesday, several players have reached their final decisions. Among them is Miami forward Dewan Huell, who will return to school for his junior season, writes Jordan McPherson of The Miami Herald.

Huell, who made a formal announcement on Twitter earlier today, averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in 32 games this season. “I’m really excited to get back to work with my brothers so we can accomplish more than ever during the 2018-19 season,” he wrote.

Huell doesn’t appear in the list of top 100 prospects compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and would have been a long shot to be drafted.

There’s more draft-related news to pass along:

East Draft Notes: Hawks, Wizards, Raptors, Nets

UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday and Villanova floor leader Jalen Brunson headline the list of six players the Hawks will work out on Friday, according to a team press release. Holiday is ranked No. 17 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, while Brunson is rated No. 26 overall.

Gary Clark (Cincinnati), Rawle Alkins (Arizona), Juwan Morgan (Indiana) and Tony Carr (Penn State) are the other players trying to make a favorable impression. The Hawks hosted Donte DiVincenzo (Villanova), Ben Lammers (Georgia Tech), Jalen McDaniels (San Diego State), Markis McDuffie (Wichita State), Doral Moore (Wake Forest) and Brandon Sampson (LSU) on Thursday.

In other draft workouts by Eastern Conference clubs:

East Draft Notes: Wizards, Raptors, Bulls, Magic, Nets

UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday heads the list of six players the Wizards will work out on Wednesday, according to the team’s website. Holiday is ranked No. 17 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He will be joined by two Kansas guards, Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, along with forwards Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga), Moritz Wagner (Michigan) and Zach Thomas (Bucknell).

In other draft news regarding Eastern Conference teams:

Draft Notes: Ponds, Heron, Spellman, Melton

After being passed over for the NBA Draft Combine, Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s is concentrating on team workouts to prove himself, writes Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog. The sophomore guard put up a 21.6/5.0/4.7 line for the Red Storm this season, but wasn’t among the 69 players who received combine invitations.

“For sure, I was most definitely upset,” he said. “I feel I deserved it.”

Ponds worked out today for the Cavaliers and has held a session with the Nets. Cleveland GM Koby Altman spoke with all the participants after the workout, and Ponds said he received positive feedback. “[Altman] said he really likes my game a lot, he really enjoyed watching it,” Ponds added. “There was great energy after the workout.”

Ponds still has workouts remaining with the Jazz, Pistons and Lakers and wants to reschedule sessions with the Knicks and Hawks that he had to cancel because of final exams. He will use the results of those workouts to determine whether to remain in the draft, a decision that has to be made by May 30.

There are more draft-related notes to pass on:

Draft Notes: Ponds, Lakers, Grizzlies, Cavaliers

The NBA draft lottery is still a week away, but teams have already started bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts. Those workouts are especially important for early entrants who are still testing the waters, since they’re a great opportunity for those players to find out where they stand with NBA teams.

One of those players is St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds, who entered the draft process this spring as a sophomore, and will have until May 30 to decide whether to withdraw and return to school for his junior year. According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link), Ponds has already worked out for the Celtics, and has auditions for the Nets and Cavaliers lined up this weekend.

Here are a few more draft-related updates, with a focus on workouts: