Rasheer Fleming

UConn’s Karaban Among Prospects Withdrawing From NBA Draft

After winning a pair of national championships as a starting forward at UConn, Alex Karaban will return to the Huskies for his junior year in search of a third consecutive title, he announced today (via Twitter).

The No. 36 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Karaban had been testing the NBA draft waters but will withdraw his name from the 2024 pool in order to retain his college eligibility. He averaged 13.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 31.4 minutes per game as a redshirt sophomore and has made 38.9% of his three-point attempts across his two college seasons.

Big man Ugonna Onyenso, who spent his first two college seasons at Kentucky, has also opted to withdraw from the NBA draft, agent Daniel Hazan tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

Onyenso told Givony last month when he initially declared for the draft that he was “100% focused on the NBA” and wasn’t thinking about “coming back to play college basketball.” However, it appears he changed his mind after getting some feedback from teams during the pre-draft process. The No. 68 player on ESPN’s big board is in the transfer portal and still has to determine where to spend his junior season, Givony notes.

Meanwhile, another player on ESPN’s board (at No. 52), Dayton forward DaRon Holmes II has decided to keep his name in the draft and forgo his final year of college eligibility, as he announced on Instagram.

The Atlantic 10’s Defensive Player of the Year and co-Player of the Year in 2023/24, Holmes averaged 20.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.1 blocks in 32.5 minutes per game for the Flyers, posting an impressive shooting line of .544/.386/.713 in 33 games (all starts).

Here are more of today’s draft decisions from early entrants ahead of the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline:

Withdrawing from the draft:

  • Swingman Chibuzo Agbo will transfer from Boise State to USC for his super-senior season (Twitter link via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports).
  • Northwestern swingman Brooks Barnhizer will return to school for his senior season (Twitter link via Jeff Goodman of The Field of 68).
  • Guard Johnell Davis will transfer from Florida Atlantic to Kansas for his super-senior season (Twitter link via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN).
  • Guard Garwey Dual will return to school for his sophomore season. He played at Providence last season but is in the transfer portal now (Twitter link via Givony).
  • St. Joseph’s forward Rasheer Fleming will return to school for his junior season (Twitter link via Rothstein).
  • Clemson guard Chase Hunter will return to school for his super-senior season (Instagram link).
  • Forward Arthur Kaluma will return to school for his senior season. He played at Kansas State last season but is in the transfer portal now (Twitter link via Jeff Borzello of ESPN).
  • Forward Baba Miller will transfer from Florida State to Florida Atlantic for his junior season (Twitter link via Givony).
  • Southern Idaho center Shahid Muhammad will return to school for his junior season (Twitter link via Rothstein).
  • UIC swingman Toby Okani will return to school for his super-senior season (Twitter link via Goodman).

Remaining in the draft:

  • Memphis senior forward David Jones will stay in the draft and forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility (Twitter link via Givony).
  • Bowling Green State sophomore guard JZ Zaher will stay in the draft and forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility (Twitter link via Rothstein).

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2024 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2024 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 195 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 138 are from colleges, 43 had been playing for teams internationally, and 14 were playing non-college ball stateside (ie. the G League or Overtime Elite).

While that early entrant total obviously far exceeds the number of players who will be selected in this year’s draft (58), it’s down significantly from the figures we’ve seen in recent years. A record 353 early entrants initially declared for the draft in 2021, but that number dropped to 283 in 2022 and 242 a year ago. The NCAA’s NIL policy, which allows college athletes to be paid based on their name, image, and likeness, has presumably been a major factor in that trend.

This year’s total of 195 early entrants figures to decline significantly by May 29 and again by June 16, the two deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it’s still likely that the eventual number of early entrants will exceed 58 players. That group will join the college seniors with no remaining eligibility and other automatically eligible players in this year’s draft pool.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2024 draft is fully up to date and can be found right here.

Here are the changes we made to our tracker today:

Newly added players

College players:

These players either didn’t publicly announce that they were entering the draft or we simply missed it when they did.

International players:

These players weren’t previously mentioned on our list of international early entrants. The country listed here indicates where they last played, not necessarily where they were born.

Other players:

  • Abdullah Ahmed, C, Westchester Knicks (born 2003)
  • Somto Cyril, C, Overtime Elite (born 2005)
  • Reynan Dos Santos, G, Overtime Elite (born 2004)
  • Djordjije Jovanovic, F, Ontario Clippers (born 2003)
  • Jalen Lewis, F/C, Overtime Elite (born 2005)
  • Malique Lewis, F, Mexico City Capitanes (born 2004)
  • Babacar Sane, F, G League Ignite (born 2003)

Players removed

Despite reports or announcements that the players below would declare for the draft, they didn’t show up on the NBA’s official list.

That could mean a number of things — they may have decided against entering the draft; they may have entered the draft, then withdrawn; they may have had no NCAA eligibility remaining, making them automatically draft-eligible; they may have incorrectly filed their paperwork; or the NBA may have accidentally omitted some names.

It seems that last possibility is a real one, as Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets that a “miscommunication or mishap’ at the league office may result in a dozen or more additional names being added to the NBA’s early entrant list.

We’ve still removed the following names from our early entrant list for the time being, but it sounds like some could be re-added soon.

Note: Some of these players may also be transferring to new schools.