KC Ndefo

Draft Decisions: Ndefo, Cook, Hutcherson, J. Brown

Senior forward KC Ndefo, one of the standout players on the St. Peter’s squad that made an unexpected Elite Eight run this spring, will be withdrawing from the 2022 NBA draft to use his last year of NCAA eligibility, a source tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

However, Ndefo won’t be returning to St. Peter’s, instead opting to transfer to Seton Hall for his final college season, says Rothstein. Ndefo isn’t a big-time scorer, averaging just 10.5 PPG last season, but he fills up the box score on defense — he has registered an impressive 2.9 blocks and 1.3 steals per game in his last three college seasons.

Here are a few more updates on the early entrants for the NBA draft:

  • Tulane sophomore guard Jalen Cook is withdrawing from the 2022 draft and returning to school for at least one more season, tweets Rothstein. Cook had a breakout year after transferring from LSU, putting up 18.0 PPG on .429/.391/.795 shooting in 24 games (33.8 MPG) for the Green Wave in 2021/22.
  • Despite appearing in just four games for Illinois due to health issues after transferring from Wesleyan, junior guard Austin Hutcherson has decided to remain in the draft pool and go pro, he tells Rothstein (Twitter link).
  • Louisiana junior forward Jordan Brown is expected to withdraw from the draft and spend at least one more season in college, a source tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Brown was the Ragin’ Cajuns’ leading scorer (15.3 PPG) and rebounder (8.6 RPG) last season.

Draft Notes: Ellis, Murray, Roberts, Early Entrants

Alabama guard Keon Ellis, who has one year of college eligibility remaining, will go pro rather than staying in school for another year. Ellis has hired EZ Sports Group for representation, the agency announced earlier this week (via Instagram), making him draft-eligible this June.

The No. 48 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Ellis averaged 12.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 1.9 SPG in 33 games (30.9 MPG) in 2021/22 for the Crimson Tide and earned a spot on the SEC’s All-Defense team.

Another prospect in ESPN’s top 100, Iowa sophomore forward Kris Murray, has also declared for the 2022 NBA draft, but he’ll maintain his college eligibility and just test the waters for now, he announced on Twitter.

Murray, who comes in at No. 98 on ESPN’s board, barely played in his freshman year, but emerged as a rotation player in 2021/22, averaging 9.7 PPG and 4.3 RPG on .479/.387/.645 shooting in 35 games (17.9 MPG). His twin brother Keegan Murray, a projected top-10 pick, declared for the draft last month.

Here’s more on the draft: