Keyshawn Bryant

Draft Notes: Bryant, Couisnard, Garuba, Combine

A pair of South Carolina early entrants have opted to pull out of the 2021 NBA draft and will return to school. Junior forward Keyshawn Bryant and sophomore guard Jermaine Couisnard both announced their intentions on Twitter.

Bryant and Couisnard were the Gamecocks’ second- and third-leading scorers in 2020/21, with Bryant putting up 14.4 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 18 games (27.0 MPG), while Couisnard averaged 10.1 PPG and 3.2 APG, but struggled mightily with his shot (.302/.289/.580).

Their teammate A.J. Lawson, who was South Carolina’s top scorer this season, also entered the draft in April, announcing at the time that he’d be signing with an agent and going pro.

Here’s more on the 2021 draft:

  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has published his first 2021 mock draft. While there are no major surprises at the very top of the draft, O’Connor’s mock has some interesting picks further down in the first round, starting with Baylor guard Davion Mitchell to Golden State at No. 6.
  • Sam Vecenie’s latest big board for The Athletic begins with the usual suspects, but also features Alperen Sengun, James Bouknight, and Josh Giddey in the top 10. Vecenie, who ranked Real Madrid’s Usman Garuba at No. 33 in his last update, moved the Spaniard up to No. 19 this time after talking to sources, referring to him as the draft’s “most impactful defensive player.”
  • Scrimmages will once again take place at this year’s draft combine in Chicago, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report hears (Twitter link). Wasserman says those scrimmages will likely occur on June 24-25 following the initial workouts and drills.

Draft Notes: Cooper, Guerrier, Bryant, NCAA Tournament

Eligibility issues and an ankle injury limited Sharife Cooper to just 12 games during his first year at Auburn, but the freshman guard still may be prepared to go pro. Sources tell Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link) that Cooper is expected to declare for the 2021 NBA draft.

While Cooper hasn’t confirmed that decision yet, it won’t be a surprise if he decides to forgo his remaining college eligibility. After averaging 20.2 PPG and 8.1 APG in his 12 games with the Tigers, he’s currently the No. 17 player on ESPN’s big board of 2021 prospects, making him a strong candidate to be a first-round pick this summer.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • Syracuse sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier will test the draft waters this spring, his former coach and longtime advisor Ibrahim Appiah told Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com. Guerrier, who averaged 13.7 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 28 games in 2020/21, could return to the Orange for at least one more year, depending on the feedback he receives.
  • South Carolina junior forward Keyshawn Bryant is declaring for the draft without hiring an agent, he announced on Twitter. Bryant averaged 14.4 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 18 games (27.0 MPG) in 2020/21.
  • Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) take a closer look at some of this year’s top prospects fared during the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, examining the play of Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, and Franz Wagner, among others.