Credit: Michigan State Athletics

Saturday News and Notes

Highlighting the latest news around college basketball and the NBA draft

EJ Montgomery declared for the draft. This would fall under the “testing the waters” territory, with Montgomery saying if he is told he will go in the first round, he will be staying in. Considering that is unlikely to happen, there is a solid chance that we will see the power forward in a Kentucky uniform next season.

St. John’s officially hired Mike Anderson as their next head coach. As we have mentioned before, the expectations are high in New York, and many of the previous hires have failed to live up to that. His press defense and fast paced offense should pair well with the athletes coming out of the tri state area, but only time will tell if he can get the Red Storm to the level necessary to stay at the helm. Anderson has a career record of 369-200 with stops at UAB, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Matthew Hurt committed to play next season at Duke, giving Mike Krzyzewski another big late addition with Hurt being one of the top remaining targets left in the class. At 6’9″ and 200 pounds, Hurt has a solid all around game being able to shoot the basketball and score inside when needed. He will need to add some bulk, as most incoming freshman do in the summer, and his game should fit perfectly with the spread offense that Duke prefers. Hurt is ranked #7 in the class by Rivals, #10 by ESPN, and #9 by 247 Sports.

Jontay Porter announced he intends to stay in the draft despite re-injuring his knee while rehabbing. At 6’11” with the ability to shoot mid range and three point jump shots with a high level of efficiency, he has teams intrigued, but there will be big question marks going forward due to multiple injuries over the last year. Providing Porter does indeed stay in the draft he will most likely go in the second round, but there is a chance he gets passed up entirely and picked up as a undrafted free agent with teams wanting to play the waiting game to see how he comes back from the injuries.

Cassius Winston will be returning to Michigan State next season, and while this not a very surprising announcement, it is huge for the Spartans as they look to make a title run next year. Winston was the Big Ten player of the year this season, averaging 18.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as a junior. Despite the great season he had, his size at just 6’0″ has his NBA future up in the air, however with another solid season there is no doubt he will be picked up at some point in next years draft.

• It was not all good news for Michigan State with Nick Ward deciding that he will be entering his name into the draft, and hiring an agent having the intent to stay in. Ward averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds in his junior campaign, although from what we have heard there is no guarantee he will be drafted at this point. This is a big blow to a Michigan State team that is being projected by some as the number one team in the preseason polls heading into next year.

• Georgia Sophomore Nicolas Claxton has entered the draft, with the possibility of a return next season if the feedback he receives does not fit what he is looking for. He averaged 13.6 points and 8 rebounds this season making a big jump from his 3.9 points as a freshman. At 6’11” with wing skills he is an intriguing prospect, but we believe he could benefit from another year in college as we currently have him going in the first round of our 2020 mock draft. With that said, he is a rare breed with his size, length, and skill set which makes him a prime candidate to possibly see his stock rise as we go through the pre-draft process leading him to stay in this years draft.

A proposal that would have required graduate transfers to count for two years against a schools scholarship total has been turned down by the NCAA. This was proposed for both football and basketball, and was a reaction to the uptick in players choosing to head elsewhere after completing their degree with eligibility remaining. Whether or not you like the move, for the time being players will continue to have more freedom in determining their future after they graduate academically.

Charles Bassey declared for the draft, which has been the expected outcome since he began the season at Western Kentucky. The freshman will not hire an agent, but with some teams considering him a possible first round selection it is highly more likely that he will be keeping his name in past the deadline. We do not believe he will go in the first round as of now, although that can change, we currently have him going in the second round in our 2019 mock draft. Bassey has skills down low and on the defensive side of the ball, but his game will need improvement outside of the paint going forward give the level of skill in the NBA at the power forward and center positions.

Leave a Reply

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

Follow me on Twitter