Keyshawn Hall

Draft Notes: Clingan, Risers, Buzelis, Withdrawals

The “buzz and excitement” surrounding former UConn center Donovan Clingan seems to be growing, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report writes in a post-combine update of his 2024 mock draft. Wasserman had Clingan coming off the board at No. 7 overall in a mock earlier this month, but has bumped the big man up to No. 3 this week after he made a strong impression on NBA evaluators in Chicago.

Zaccharie Risacher (No. 2 to No. 1), Dalton Knecht (No. 10 to No. 7), Tidjane Salaun (No. 21 to No. 12), and Devin Carter (No. 18 to No. 13) are among the other notable lottery risers in Wasserman’s latest mock draft, while Matas Buzelis slipped from No. 5 to No. 11. Opinions are mixed on the G League Ignite forward, according to Wasserman, who says workouts with teams will be “extra important” for Buzelis.

Here are a few more draft updates:

  • Guard Xavier DuSell, who declared for the draft following his senior year at Fresno State, has decided to remove his name from the 2024 poll and take advantage of his extra year of eligibility, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. DuSell will be transferring to Nevada for his super-senior season.
  • Following a strong freshman season at Georgia Tech (12.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.1 BPG), forward Baye Ndongo will withdraw from the draft and return to the Yellow Jackets, per Rothstein (Twitter link).
  • Jacksonville guard Robert McCray will head back to school for his junior season rather than keeping his name in the draft, tweets Rothstein. McCoy had a breakout season in 2023/24, averaging 18.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 2.9 APG.
  • Guard Keyshawn Hall is pulling out of the draft and will transfer to his third college in three years, according to Rothstein (Twitter link). After playing at UNLV as a freshman and George Mason as a sophomore, Hall will head to UCF for his junior season in 2024/25.
  • VCU sophomore forward Toibu Lawal has officially withdrawn from the draft and will transfer to Virginia Tech for his junior year, tweets Rothstein.
  • As a reminder, the deadline for college early entrants to exit the draft pool and retain their NCAA eligibility is next Wednesday, May 29.

And-Ones: K. Hall, March Madness, Zizic, Scoring Dip

George Mason guard Keyshawn Hall has opted to test the 2024 NBA draft waters and enter the NCAA transfer portal, he tells Jeff Goodman of The Field of 68 (Twitter link).

Hall spent his first college season at UNLV in 2022/23, then transferred to George Mason, where he enjoyed a breakout sophomore season with the Patriots. He averaged 16.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game across 29 appearances, with a .474/.357/.844 shooting line. However, he doesn’t show up on ESPN’s list of 2024’s top 100 prospects, so he may decide to stay in school for at least one more year in an effort to improve his stock.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • With the first week of March Madness in the books, Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of (Insider link) updated their 2024 mock draft and shared some observations on the latest NCAA results, including disappointing final games for Kentucky prospects Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard and impressive showings for big men Donovan Clingan of UConn and Zach Edey of Purdue.
  • Former first-round pick Ante Zizic, who appeared in 113 games for the Cavaliers from 2017-20, recently stated that he prefers playing in Europe, referring to the NBA as a “show” and admitting that his stint stateside didn’t “go in the direction I imagined.” Eurohoops has the story, with the quotes from Zizic.
  • Seth Partnow of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the data surrounding the NBA’s league-wide post-All-Star scoring dip, noting that it’s all the more unusual because scoring usually increases near the end of the season. A slightly slower pace of play and fewer free throws being awarded per game are the primary reasons for the decline, Partnow suggests.