Frankie Fidler

Villanova’s Dixon Among Several Players Withdrawing From Draft

The deadline is looming for early entrants to withdraw from the 2024 NBA draft and retain their NCAA eligibility. Those players have until the end of the day on Wednesday to formally remove their names from this year’s draft pool if they hope to resume their college careers.

A number of prospects are taking that route, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, who tweets that two-time All-Big East Villanova forward Eric Dixon is among those who are withdrawing from the draft to return to school. Dixon averaged 16.6 points and 6.5 rebounds with a .465/.346/.862 shooting line in 30.6 minutes per game across 34 appearances for the Wildcats in 2023/24 and will rejoin the club for his super-senior season in ’24/25.

Former Tulane guard Sion James, who is transferring to Duke (Twitter link), and former Drexel big man Amari Williams, who is transferring to Kentucky (Twitter link), are among the other seniors will who will take advantage of their year of extra eligibility due to COVID and play college ball for another season, per Rothstein. Cincinnati center Aziz Bandaogo, who will remain with the Bearcats after being named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2023/24, is also withdrawing from the draft (Twitter link).

Here are several more of the latest draft withdrawals, via Rothstein:

Draft Notes: Buzelis, Risacher, Castle, Mocks, Early Entrants

Matas Buzelis‘ draft stock has dipped a little over the course of the 2023/24 season, but the G League Ignite forward isn’t lacking for confidence as the pre-draft process nears. Speaking to Donatas Urbonas of, Buzelis expressed confidence that he’d match up well with Zaccharie Risacher, the No. 1 prospect on ESPN’s big board.

“Of course, I want to see him one-on-one,” Buzelis said. “He just doesn’t want to do that with me. His agent will not do that with me, and I know he won’t. It’s a business decision.”

Asked why he feels as if he has an edge over Risacher in a hypothetical 1-on-1 matchup, Buzelis replied, “My advantage is that I have everything over him.”

While Buzelis has spent the season in the G League, Risacher has been playing for JL Bourg in France, so the two prospects haven’t gone head-to-head. Considered a potential No. 1 overall pick when mock drafts for 2024 were first being published last summer, Buzelis is now at No. 6 on ESPN’s board, though he tells Urbonas that he’s attempting not to focus on where he’s projected to be selected.

“I try not to look at it,” Buzelis said. “It’s obviously there, and I see it. But I try to stay in the zone. I know what I’m capable of, and I don’t look at what number I am. I know if I’m getter better, then I’m winning.”

Here’s more on the 2024 draft:

  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer made updates to both his 2024 big board and mock draft on Wednesday. Interestingly, UConn’s Stephon Castle is now O’Connor’s highest-ranked NCAA prospect, at No. 2 on his big board, but comes in at No. 8 in his mock.
  • Despite Rob Dillingham‘s underwhelming performance in Kentucky’s NCAA tournament loss to Oakland, the freshman guard is still the first college player off the board in the latest mock draft from Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, at No. 2.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic identifies a few NBA prospects whose draft stocks have risen or dropped as a result of their March Madness performances. Duke’s Jared McCain and Oregon’s N’Faly Dante are among those who are “up,” while Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard and Virginia’s Ryan Dunn are a couple names on the “down” list.
  • The following college players made announcements within the last week indicating that they plan to test the 2024 NBA draft waters: