Credit: Cal Athletics

Thursday News and Notes

Highlighting the latest news in college basketball and around the NBA draft

Ja Morant declared for the NBA draft, which is no surprise with his draft stock rising as much as it has this season. We currently have the Murray State point guard going #3 in our mock draft, and it is a virtual lock he will end up in the #2 to #5 range.

The Wooden Award all american team were announced. Five players were invited for the Wooden award presentation: RJ Barrett, Grant Williams, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson and Cassius Winston.

• North Carolina Freshman Coby White declared for the draft. His stock has gone from a potential draft pick to being a lock to go in the first round. White is currently #6 in our mock draft, and most draft sites have in going in the lottery. Given his size and skill set, there may be some teams that see him as the top point guard in the draft, meaning he can go as high as inside of the top five.

Naz Reid declared for the draft, as well as announcing his intention to hire and agent and commitment to stay in the draft. There is no consensus on his current NBA value, with some sites having him going in the first round and others in the second, while we have him going #22 in our mock draft update last week. His 6’10” 240 frame, with the ability to score inside as well as shoot from the outside will have teams intrigued, which should make him a first round pick.

• UCLA is reportedly hiring Jamie Dixon to be their next head coach. Dixon has built TCU’s program up from the bottom to a respectable place, going 68-41 in his three seasons as the Horned Frog’s coach after taking over a bad situation.

• Cal’s leading scorer Justice Sueing is transferring, which he announced on social media. He should have plenty of options after averaging 14.3 points and 6 rebounds per game as a sophomore. At 6’7″ he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket, but he needs to work on his outside shot, after shooting at just over 30% this past season on three pointers.

• The NIT championship is tonight at 7 pm est. with Texas facing Lipscomb. Lipscomb is led by Garrison Mathews, who has been on fire during the tournament, with games of 44 against North Carolina State and 34 against Wichita State. He is deadly from behind the arc, making 13 three pointers in their last two games. On the other side, Kerwin Roach II has seen a resurgence of sorts since returning from his suspension and has played well. Although we still do not have him currently projected to be drafted, it would not be a surprise if he is chosen in the second round. With Jaxson Hayes not playing due to a knee injury, Dylan Osetkowski will need to continue much of the load in the frontcourt.

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