Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Draft Notes: 2020 Class, Haliburton, Vassell, More

The 2020 NBA draft class has repeatedly been referred to by analysts and league observers in recent months as subpar. However, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer doesn’t think that’s quite right.

As O’Connor explains, the 2020 NBA draft may not have the star power that some past drafts have — there’s no consensus future superstar like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, or Zion Williamson among this year’s top prospects. However, O’Connor believes it’s a deep class that features “a plethora of potential high-end role players who could develop into the missing ingredient of a championship team’s recipe.”

In O’Connor’s view, teams picking in the lottery this year will have to weigh certain players’ possible star upside with other prospects’ solid, high-floor skill sets. For instance, big man James Wiseman is at or near the top of most draft boards, but O’Connor has players like Tyrese Haliburton and Devin Vassell ranked higher than Wiseman on his own board, viewing them as safe picks capable of improving a team as complementary pieces. Positional value could also be weighed more heavily in 2020 than it typically is, O’Connor adds.

Here’s more on the 2020 draft:

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl Alters Draft Decision Because Of Coronavirus Concerns

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl will not enter the 2020 draft after all. Head coach Jay Wright had previously said the Villanova forward would test the draft waters, but Robinson-Earl provided Wright with his final decision earlier this week, as the University’s website relays.

“A few days ago Jeremiah called me and told me he wanted to just continue working out and concentrate on getting better,” Wright said. “He said ‘ I don’t want to bother with the NBA stuff, so I just want to say I’m coming back. He didn’t want to make a big deal out of this.”

Wright added that JRE had gotten some feedback on his game from the NBA early entry committee and it was likely that he would have been drafted.

Robinson-Earl, who is No. 64 on ESPN’s big board, said the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and how the NBA will respond to it played a role in his decision.

“The uncertainty of what the NBA is going to do did a play a part in this,” the forward said. “I just feel like I don’t want to worry a lot about that with the times we’re all going through right now. I just want to focus on getting better, going back to Villanova and getting my mindset on that.

“I did get some feedback [from the NBA] and it was good feedback. I just felt like I wanted to focus on being a better overall player. The feedback was that I would have gotten drafted but I feel like I can put myself in a better position just by coming back.”

Villanova’s Bey, Robinson-Earl To Test Draft Waters

Shortly after being announced as this year’s winner of the Julius Erving award – given annually to the nation’s top small forward – Villanova sophomore Saddiq Bey confirmed that he’ll be entering the 2020 NBA draft, per Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link).

I will be definitely testing the waters and going through that process whenever I’ll be able to, and keeping my options open,” Bey said, per Zagoria.

Villanova head coach Jay Wright said last month that he expected both Bey and freshman forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to test the 2020 draft waters, but Bey hadn’t announced that decision himself until today. Wright also confirmed today that Robinson-Earl will indeed go through the draft process (Twitter link via Zagoria).

The No. 21 overall prospect on ESPN’s big board, Bey averaged a team-high 16.1 PPG in 31 games (33.9 MPG) in 2019/20. He also contributed 4.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, and an eye-popping .451 3PT% on 5.6 three-point attempts per game. After earning Big East All-Freshman honors a year ago, the forward – who turns 21 on Thursday – was a unanimous All-Big East First Team pick this year.

Robinson-Earl, meanwhile, recorded 10.5 PPG with a team-best 9.4 RPG in 31 games (32.7 MPG). He was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year and comes in at No. 66 on ESPN’s board.

Bey and Robinson-Earl are the latest additions to our list of early entrants for the 2020 NBA draft, which has now surpassed 100 total names.

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.