Marc-Eddy Norelia

Draft Decisions: Hayes, Brooks, Newman

The deadline for NCAA underclassmen to withdraw from NBA draft consideration and retain their college eligibility is today at 11:59pm eastern time, and some prospects are taking that decision down to the wire. As Jeff Goodman of notes, there are 14 players who have yet to hire agents – signaling they’ll remain in the draft – or announce their intentions to return to their respective college teams. Those decisions will become public over the next 14 hours or so, but in the meantime, we have a few updates on underclassmen to pass along. Let’s dive in…

  • Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes has decided to return to school for his senior season, according to an Associated Press report (link via The Star Tribune). “Getting the opportunity to gather information about the NBA and visit with professionals at that level was a really valuable experience for me,” Hayes said. “Playing in the NBA still remains an important goal for me, but that can wait another year.”
  • Oregon sophomore Dillon Brooks, who worked out for the Nuggets this past weekend, is expected to return to the Ducks for his junior year, sources tell Goodman. Brooks led Oregon in scoring this past season, with 16.7 points per game.
  • Mississippi State guard Malik Newman will withdraw from the draft and retain his college eligibility, his father Horatio Webster tells Goodman. However, Newman may not return to the Bulldogs for the upcoming season — Goodman hears from multiple sources that the sophomore-to-be will “strongly consider” transferring to another D-1 school.
  • Three players from Florida schools have withdrawn from the 2016 draft, according to Goodman, who tweets that Jahmal McMurray (South Florida), Dallas Moore (North Florida), and Marc-Eddy Norelia (Florida Gulf Coast) will return to their respective schools for the 2016/17 season.
  • Be sure to check out our full list of early entrants for the 2016 draft, including those who have withdrawn from consideration.

Draft Notes: Jackson, Sabonis, Zimmerman

Notre Dame junior point guard Demetrius Jackson, who declared for the draft last month, has signed with Priority Sports for his representation, tweets Jeff Goodman of Projections are divided for the 21-year-old who ranks as the 11th-best prospect according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress but comes in just 25th in the listings that Chad Ford of compiles.

Plenty of other news about the draft has emerged with the June 23rd event barely more than two months away. Here’s the latest.

  • Gonzaga sophomore forward/center Domantas Sabonis has hired the Wasserman agency, reports Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Twitter link), with Greg Lawrence and Jason Ranne to represent him, according to Liz Mullen of The Sports Business Journal (Twitter link). That closes off the possibility that he’d withdraw from the draft and return to school. The 6’10” 20-year-old is the 15th-best prospect in Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider rankings and No. 19 on Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress list.
  • Texas A&M senior combo guard Alex Caruso has signed with agent Greg Lawrence of the Wasserman agency, Mullen relays (on Twitter).
  • UNLV freshman center Stephen Zimmerman has also signed with the Wasserman Media Group, D’Bria Bradshaw of The Sports Agent Blog relays. Agent Darren ‘Mats’ Matsubara will represent Zimmerman, Bradshaw notes.
  • West Virginia junior power forward Devin Williams has signed with agent Aaron Turner of Verus Management, Goodman reports (Twitter link). The 6’9″ 21-year-old is the 94th-best prospect in Ford’s rankings, while Givony has him outside the top 100, simply listing him as the 35th-best junior.
  • Florida Gulf Coast University junior Marc-Eddy Norelia will enter the draft without hiring an agent, the school announced. He’s a long-shot prospect, falling outside Ford’s and Givony’s rankings. The 6’8″ forward can retain his college eligibility if he withdraws from the draft by May 25th and doesn’t sign with an agent.
  • Czech power forward Adam Pechacek is entering the draft, his representatives at SigmaSports announced (via Twitter). The 21-year-old averaged 13.1 points and 5.2 rebounds playing in Poland last season.
  • Greek center Georgios Papagiannis, Turkish power forward/center Ege Arar and Slovenian point guard Aleksej Nikolic will all enter the draft, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express relays in a series of tweets. Of the trio, Papagiannis is the most likely to be drafted, with the 7’2″ 18-year-old coming in at No. 48 overall according to Givony. Neither Arar or Nikolic are locks to be selected, with Arar ranked as the No. 36 overall international prospect in his class by Givony, who slots Nikolic at No. 50.