Nate Pierre-Louis

Draft Notes: Combine, Diane, Pierre-Louis, Eastern

Although the NBA’s 2020 draft combine won’t take place in Chicago next week as originally scheduled, the league hasn’t given up on the idea of holding it – in some form – later this year. If it can happen in person, the combine may still be held in Chicago, but a more likely outcome would see it held in Las Vegas or Orlando, assuming that’s where the NBA sets up its “bubble” to resume the season, writes Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com.

As Zagoria notes, with NBA teams and personnel all gathered in one place to complete the season, it would make sense to host the combine in that location rather than asking prospects and evaluators to travel elsewhere. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the combine will be able to happen in person at all — a virtual event may end up being the most viable scenario.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft

  • Cal State Northridge forward Lamine Diane has signed with agent Richie Felder of CAA for representation, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. As a result, Diane will go pro and remain in the draft, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility. He currently ranks 71st overall on ESPN’s big board.
  • Like Diane, Temple guard Nate Pierre-Louis has decided to sign with an agent and remain in the draft, he tells Goodman (Twitter link). Pierre-Louis, who had one year of NCAA eligibility left, doesn’t show up on ESPN’s list of 2020’s top 100 prospects.
  • After deciding to test the draft waters this spring, Purdue’s Nojel Eastern has also opted to transfer, announcing today (via Twitter) that he has committed to Michigan for next season. While Eastern didn’t mention the draft, it appears he’ll play one more year of college ball before going pro.
  • Although these early entrants are making their draft decisions now, there’s no rush to do so. The NCAA announced on Wednesday that it has indefinitely postponed its June 3 withdrawal deadline for early entry prospects.

Draft Decisions: Alston, Mizzou, Diarra, French, More

Boise State forward Derrick Alston Jr. has entered his name in the 2020 NBA draft pool, he announced on Twitter. He’ll leave the door open for a possible return to school for his senior season.

Alston, who comes in at No. 98 on ESPN’s big board of 2020 draft prospects, averaged 17.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 32 games (33.0 MPG) in 2019/20. His three-point shooting fell off as his volume increased, dipping from 38.4% as a sophomore to 33.5% as a junior.

Alston’s father, Derrick Alston Sr., is a former NBA player who is currently the head coach of the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

Here are more early entrant draft decisions from across the NCAA:

  • Three Missouri players – sophomore guard Xavier Pinson and junior forwards Mitchell Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon – will test the draft waters, according to a press release from the school. All three played part-time roles for the Tigers in 2019/20, with Pinson averaging 11.1 PPG, good for second-best on the roster.
  • Jeff Goodman of Stadium reports a pair of early entries, tweeting that Eastern Kentucky sophomore guard Jomaru Brown and Vermont junior guard Stef Smith are declaring. A source expects Smith to return to school, Goodman notes.
  • According to Goodman (via Twitter), Kansas State junior guard Cartier Diarra is testing the draft waters. If he decides to withdraw, he’ll transfer to Virginia Tech.
  • Saint Louis junior forward Hasahn French and junior guard Jordan Goodwin are testing the draft waters, according to the school. Goodwin was Saint Louis’ leading scorer with 15.5 PPG, while French chipped in 12.4 PPG. Both players averaged double-doubles, with an impressive 10.4 RPG apiece.
  • Isiaha Mike (SMU), Nate Pierre-Louis (Temple), Paul Atkinson Jr. (Yale), and Aamir Simms (Clemson) each announced on their personal Twitter accounts that they’re entering the draft while maintaining their NCAA eligibility.