Josh Mballa

Draft Notes: Early Entrant Decisions, Mintz, Obanor, Duarte

Kentucky guard Davion Mintz has withdrawn from the draft and will return to the Wildcats for another year, per an ESPN report.

Jalen Wilson (Kansas), Orlando Robinson (Fresno State), Josh Mballa (Buffalo), Moussa Cisse (Memphis), Stanley Umude (transferring to Arkansas from South Dakota), and Alex Morales (Wagner) are also pulling out of the draft in order to return to school, according to a series of tweets from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

The NCAA’s early entrant deadline is July 7, so players who declared for the draft and are testing the waters will have until next Wednesday to either withdraw or keep their names in the pool.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports takes a look at a dozen college programs whose rosters for 2021/22 will be affected by key decisions made on or before the July 7 early entrant withdrawal deadline.
  • Nebraska guard Dalano Banton will remain in the 2021 draft, he told Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). Iowa forward Joe Wieskamp and Evansville wing Sam Cunliffe are staying in the draft too, while Coppin State wing Koby Thomas has also signed with an agent and will go pro rather than returning to school, according to Rothstein (Twitter links).
  • Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn and Oral Roberts forward Kevin Obanor have entered the transfer portal but are remaining in the draft for now, according to reports from Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com and Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Obanor has worked out for the Warriors and Cavaliers and has auditions lined up with the Sixers and Magic, per Goodman.
  • Oregon guard Chris Duarte tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that he believes he should be a lottery pick in this year’s draft.

Draft Notes: McClung, Tiebreakers, Seniors, Mballa

Texas Tech guard Mac McClung has hired an agent and will remain in the draft, Jonathan Givony of ESPN reports.

McClung decided to test the draft waters last month while concurrently placing his name in the transfer portal. He averaged 15.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG and 2.1 APG for the Red Raiders. McClung, who spent two seasons at Georgetown, had two years of eligibility remaining.

He’s signing with Dan Poneman of Beyond Athlete Management but he has an uphill climb to get drafted. He’s not currently listed among ESPN’s Top 100 Best Available players.

“I just felt the timing was right for me to go all-in,” McClung said.

We have more draft news:

  • The coin flips to determine the tiebreakers in this year’s draft order will be conducted next Tuesday, Givony tweets. Those flips include the Cavaliers and Thunder for the fourth and fifth spots; the Magic, Pelicans and Kings for the Nos. 8-10 spots; the Hornets and Spurs at No. 11, if both lose their play-in games or make the playoffs; the Wizards and Pacers at No. 13, if both miss or make the playoffs; the Knicks and Hawks for spots No. 19 and 20; the Rockets, Lakers and Knicks for Nos. 21-23; and the Clippers and Nuggets for the 25th and 26th positions. For more info on the lottery standings and draft order, check out our comprehensive breakdown here.
  • Approximately 100 college seniors have filed as early-entry candidates, Givony writes in a separate story. The “preliminary early-entry list” includes only college seniors, allowing NBA teams an extra two weeks to conduct due diligence on that group of players. The list includes some high-profile playes such as Iowa’s Luka Garza, Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert, Oregon’s Chris Duarte, Oklahoma’s Austin Reaves and Loyola Chicago’s Cameron Krutwig, Givony adds. The full early-entry list will be released at the beginning of next month.
  • University of Buffalo forward Josh Mballa has declared his intention to test the draft waters while maintaining his college eligibility, according to a school press release. Mballa was named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year while finishing second on the team in scoring at 15.3 PPG and leading the Bulls in rebounding at 10.8 RPG.