Milan Acquaah

Draft Notes: Combine, Langford, Horton-Tucker, Acquaah

The competition to be the No. 4 pick remains unsettled after this week’s draft combine, according to Scott Gleeson of USA Today. Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Duke’s Cam Reddish and North Carolina’s Coby White all improved their standing through measurements and drills, Gleeson states, but Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter may have helped themselves just as much by skipping the combine.

Duke’s Zion Williamson, Murray State’s Ja Morant and Duke’s R.J. Barrett are believed to have the top three spots locked up, leaving a difficult decision at the fourth pick for the Lakers or whomever they deal the selection to.

Gleeson identifies several players who stock either rose or fell at the combine. Among the winners are UCF’s Tacko Fall, Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, Tennessee’s Jordan Bone, North Carolina’s Nassir Little, Croatian Luka Samanic and Virginia’s Kyle Guy. Gleeson’s list of players who failed to help themselves includes Oregon’s Bol Bol, Kentucky’s Tyler Herro, former Syracuse signee Darius Bazley and St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated also chimes in with a list of draft risers and fallers based on their performance at the combine. He believes Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton improved his chances of being selected in the first round with an impressive defensive performance, while LSU guard Tremont Waters helped ease worries about his size and Miami’s Dewan Hernandez showed off his athleticism after sitting out the season because of connections to the FBI investigation.
  • Indiana’s Romeo Langford says he has fully recovered from the back problems that bothered him in college, tweets Scott Agness of The Athletic. Langford met with 13 teams at the combine, including the Pacers, Celtics (Twitter link) and Pistons (Twitter link).
  • Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker is committed to staying in the draft as he hopes to become the Cyclones’ first player taken in the first round since 2012, relays Travis Hines of The Ames Tribune. A top 50 recruit coming out of high school, Horton-Tucker has already interviewed with 14 teams.
  • Milan Acquaah of Cal Baptist has taken his name out of the draft, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

Draft Notes: Zoosman, Pritchard, Stevens, More

Israeli wing Yovel Zoosman has submitted paperwork to the NBA to make himself eligible for the 2019 NBA draft, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. The 20-year-old, who is currently playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli League and the Euroleague, is aiming to become the first player from Israel to be drafted in 10 years — Omri Casspi was selected in the 2009 draft.

“If I were fortunate enough to be drafted this coming June, it would mean the world to me to follow in the footsteps of Omri Casspi, Gal Mekel, and others, make my country proud and hopefully inspire young Israelis to follow their dreams as well,” Zossman told Givony.

The No. 58 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Zoosman is a top candidate to win this year’s EuroLeague Rising Star award, according to Givony, who notes that NBA scouts like the youngster’s size, length, shooting ability and basketball IQ.

Here are more draft-related updates on 2019’s early entrants:

  • Penn State junior forward Lamar Stevens announced on Tuesday that he’ll test the draft waters (Twitter link). “I think it’s a win-win,” Stevens said of going through the pre-draft process while retaining his college eligibility. “One way, I get to go and play professionally. (Or) I come back to a great school and really get to end my legacy how I really envision.”
  • Oregon junior guard Payton Pritchard tells James Crepea of The Oregonian that he’ll enter the draft while maintaining his NCAA eligibility. Pritchard came on strong in March, averaging 16.0 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 5.3 RPG during the Ducks’ Sweet 16 run.
  • Georgia State junior guard D’Marcus Simonds announced on Twitter that he’s entering the draft and signing with an agent. While Simonds can test the waters even after hiring representation, his announcement doesn’t make it sounds as if he expects to return for his senior season.
  • California Baptist sophomore guard Milan Acquaah is entering the draft without hiring an agent, the school announced in a press release. Acquaah averaged 19.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 3.4 APG in 31 games in 2018/19.
  • Howard junior guard Charles Williams Jr. will join teammate R.J. Cole in testing the 2019 draft waters, a source tells Steven J. Gaither of HBCU Gameday. Williams averaged 17.9 PPG on .446/.373/.856 shooting in 33 games in 2018/19.