Rayquawndis Mitchell

Draft Decisions: Prosper, Collins, Stevens, Thomas, Mitchell

Viewed as one of the biggest winners of last week’s draft combine in Chicago, Marquette junior Olivier-Maxence Prosper has decided to keep his name in the 2023 NBA draft and forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility, he tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

“After talking to my family, agents, and evaluating the feedback I’ve gotten after the draft combine and my pro day, I’ve decided to keep my name in,” Prosper said. “Teams say they are really intrigued by me and value my skill set and ability to impact the game on both ends. I’m ready to make that jump and go after this.”

After performing well in his first combine scrimmage, Prosper had an impressive pro day showing in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to Givony, who lists the 6’8″ forward as the No. 32 prospect on ESPN’s big board. Prosper had individual workouts with five NBA teams prior to the combine and is expected to visit many more in the coming weeks, Givony adds.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants deciding whether or not to stay in the draft:

  • Arizona State guard Frankie Collins, who averaged 9.7 PPG and 4.3 APG as a sophomore last season, will be withdrawing from the draft and returning to school for his junior year, he announced on Twitter.
  • Colorado State guard Isaiah Stevens will take his name out of the 2023 draft and take advantage of his “super-senior” year of NCAA eligibility. Stevens, who made his announcement on Instagram, averaged 17.9 PPG and 6.7 APG in 26 games (36.8 MPG) in 2022/23.
  • Agent Kevin Martin tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter links) that a pair of his clients – Hofstra’s Tyler Thomas and Rayquawndis Mitchell, who is transferring from Kansas City to Penn State – are pulling out of the draft to return to school. Martin is an NCAA-certified agent, so his clients are permitted to test the draft waters without forfeiting their remaining college eligibility.

Draft Notes: Hawkins, Shead, Lawrence, Sharavjamts, Powell, Mitchell

Illinois power forward Coleman Hawkins will enter the 2023 NBA draft while maintaining his remaining NCAA eligibility, he tells Jon Rothstein of College Hoops Today.

Hawkins is currently the No. 49 prospect on ESPN’s big board, so he’s a good candidate to be drafted if he doesn’t return to school. However, he’s undecided about going pro, telling Rothstein that he likes the idea of contending for an NCAA championship.

“I want to be on a roster that has a chance to do something big — win a national title,” Hawkins said. “I hope if I do come back that we will have a more veteran team and a chance of being a really great team.”

Hawkins became a full-time starter in his junior season, averaging 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 32.5 minutes per contest (33 games).

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Houston guard Jamal Shead will test the NBA draft waters, he tells Jon Chepkevich of Rookie Scale (Twitter link). Shead averaged 10.5 PPG, 5.4 APG, and 3.0 RPG in 37 games (32.6 MPG) as the Cougars’ starting point guard in his junior year. His shooting percentages (.415 FG%, .310 3PT%) weren’t strong, but they did represent an improvement on his numbers as a sophomore. He was also the AAC’s Defensive Player of the Year, as Chepkevich notes.
  • Vanderbilt junior guard Tyrin Lawrence announced (via Twitter) that he’ll enter the draft while maintaining his college eligibility. Lawrence was Vanderbilt’s second-leading scorer in 2022/23, averaging 13.1 PPG on .502/.360/.743 shooting.
  • Freshman forward Mike Sharavjamts won’t return to Dayton, he tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). Sharavjamts could change schools via the NCAA’s transfer portal, but for now he’s focusing on professional opportunities and has signed with NCAA-certified agent Scott Nichols, according to Givony.
  • Givony also reports (via Twitter) that Washington State junior guard Justin Powell will enter the draft while maintaining his NCAA eligibility. Powell has already played for three college programs, having been with Auburn as a freshman and Tennessee as a sophomore. He knocked down an impressive 42.6% of his three-pointers in 2022/23.
  • Kansas City senior guard Rayquawndis Mitchell will test the draft waters, he announced on Twitter. Mitchell made the All-Summit team this spring by averaging 17.3 PPG in 32 games (35.5 MPG), though he shot just 34.5% from the floor.
  • In the introduction of his latest mock draft, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic writes that NBA teams are “all over the map” on many of the players in this year’s class, making the draft difficult to forecast, especially beyond the top 11 or so players. NBA teams are eager to see many top NCAA prospects in workouts and interviews to better assess them, Vecenie adds.