Credit: University of Maryland

Tuesday News and Notes

Highlighting the latest news around college basketball and the NBA draft

Jalen Smith announced he will return to Maryland for his sophomore year. Some sites were projecting he would leave and go in the late first round this year, but we have had him in the top ten of our 2020 mock draft. The freshman averaged 11.7, and 6.8 rebounds per game, showing off an all around skill set that is impressive for a 6’10” player.

Tre Jones is staying at Duke, which seems like the most logical decision considering he has seen his draft stock go from being a borderline first round pick in the preseason, to most recently being no guarantee that he would be drafted. As a freshman he showed flashes, but his season was up and down and he shot the ball poorly from the outside at 26.2% on three point attempts.

Virginia won its first National Championship, with Deandre Hunter taking over the game in the second half on his way to 27 points. With his size and skill set, he has the possibility of being a top ten pick should he enter the draft, which would be considered a lock at this point. Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy both played great games as well, in a game that completed their redemption after last years first round loss. Jarrett Culver struggled shooting 5 for 22 from the field and missing all of his 6 three point attempts. Despite the down game, his stock is as high as it has ever been, with Culver seen as a top ten pick.

PJ Washington announced his decision to enter the draft and hire an agent. This comes as no surprise with Washington considered a first round lock, who could end up being a lottery pick. The sophomore considered leaving after last season, but decided to come back and work on his shot and all around game. That improvement led to Washington averaging 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, with Kentucky losing in the elite eight to Auburn.

Chris Mullin is expected to step down as coach of St. John’s. Mullin has gone 59-73 in his time as their head coach, and he led the Red Storm to the NCAA tournament this season. Despite getting the program headed in the right direction, he is reportedly having issues with the leadership at the school.

Rick Barnes staying at Tennessee turning down the opportunity to take over as coach of the UCLA program. This is one of the strangest coaching searches for a major basketball institution in recent memory, which has gone through multiple serious candidates, and now has led to Barnes getting a pay raise to stay in Knoxville.

Kira Lewis Jr. announced he will return to Bama after previously entering his name into the transfer portal. The 6’3″ freshman had an impressive first year on campus, averaging 13.5 points and 2.9 assists in 31 minutes of action. It is a big win for new coach Nate Oats, who will have his starting point guard back leading the offense.

Virginia is the early favorite to win the 2020 national championship according to multiple Las Vegas sports books. The Cavaliers were listed at 5/1 odds, with Duke and Kentucky next at 8/1 odds. These will change as the last unsigned recruits choose their college destinations, and it becomes more clear what players stay in the draft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow me on Twitter