Keith Williams

Draft Decisions: K. Williams, Lawson, Burk, Daly, Gach

With an August 3 withdrawal deadline looming, the NCAA early entrants in the 2020 NBA draft pool must make decisions soon on whether or not they’ll keep their names in and forgo their remaining college eligibility.

Here are updates on a few of the latest decisions:

  • Cincinnati guard Keith Williams is withdrawing from the draft and returning to school for his senior year, according to agent Trinity Best (Twitter link via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports). Williams declared for the draft this spring after averaging 12.6 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 30 games (28.8 MPG) for the Bearcats.
  • South Carolina guard A.J. Lawson is headed back to school, the program announced in a press release. “I want to thank all of the teams that gave me the opportunity to speak with them over the last couple of months, and I’m excited to be back in Columbia and ready to get to work for the season ahead,” said Lawson, who averaged 13.4 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 31 games (29.1 MPG) as a sophomore.
  • IUPUI guard Marcus Burk has pulled out of the draft after testing the waters, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. Burk was the Jaguars’ leading scorer as a junior, with 21.3 PPG on .432/.386/.782 shooting.
  • Saint Joseph’s guard Ryan Daly has withdrawn from the draft and will return to school for his senior season, he tells Goodman (Twitter link). After transferring from Delaware, Daly racked up 20.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 4.3 APG in his first full season with the Hawks in 2019/20.
  • Having previously decided to transfer from Utah to Minnesota for his junior season, swingman Both Gach has now formally removed his name from the 2020 draft pool, writes Marcus Fuller of The Star Tribune. It remains to be seen whether Gach will have to sit for a year before officially playing for his new school.

Draft Notes: Early Entrants, Golden, West, Nnaji

MaCio Teague (Baylor), Keith Williams (Cincinnati), Denzel Mahoney (Creighton), and Zach Cooks (NJIT) are among the early entrants who have signed with Trinity Best for representation as they navigate the pre-draft process, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

However, signing with an agent doesn’t mean those players are going pro — because Best is an NCAA-certified rep, Teague, Williams, Mahoney, and Cooks can continue to test the draft waters without forgoing their remaining college eligibility. Because the NCAA has indefinitely postponed its June 3 withdrawal date, those players won’t necessarily have to finalize decisions anytime soon either.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • Richmond forward Grant Golden has decided to withdraw from the draft and return to school for his senior year, he tells Rothstein (Twitter link). Golden has averaged 15.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG for Richmond in 94 games over his last three seasons.
  • Marshall guard Jarrod West, who elected to test the draft waters this spring, is expected to return to school for his senior season, according to head coach Dan D’Antoni (Twitter link via Rothstein). West, who has been a starter for the Thundering Herd since his freshman year, had a breakout season in 2019/20, averaging 14.2 PPG, 4.1 APG, and 4.0 RPG.
  • Arizona forward Zeke Nnaji, who previously met with New Orleans, Washington, Charlotte, and Utah, has virtual interviews this week with the Knicks, Bucks, and Pistons, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.

Draft Notes: Russell, Williams, Vassell, Mays

Rhode Island guard Fatts Russell has declared for the draft but will maintain his college eligibility throughout the process, he wrote on an Instagram post. The junior averaged 18.8 PPG, 4.6 APG and 2.9 SPG this season. The 5’10” Russell averaged 14.2 PPG last season.

We have more draft news:

  • Cincinnati’s Keith Williams announced his intention to enter the draft and hire an agent on his Twitter feed. The 6’5” Williams averaged 12.6 PPG and shot 34.2% from long range as a junior this season. Williams has started two seasons for the Bearcats after being a rotation reserve as a freshman.
  • Oregon guard Payton Pritchard, Florida State guard Devin Vassell, Utah State guard Sam Merrill, Penn State forward Lamar Stevens and LSU guard Skylar Mays are five players who could make a surprising impact in the NBA, Jon Rothstein declares in a Yahoo Sports video post. Vassell, currently ranked No. 19 on ESPN’s Best Available list, is the only prospect among that group considered a likely first-rounder.
  • Potential lottery selection Killian Hayes has declared for the draft. Get the details here.