Stadium Sports basketball reporter Jeff Goodman provides an NBA Draft Entry Tracker and the NBA has now released the official list of those who filed as early entry candidates. The deadline for entry was this past Sunday, April 26. Among the 163 early entry names from college: Virginia’s Jay Huff.
Of course, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Huff told reporters earlier this month via a Zoom video call that he had submitted the paperwork to receive feedback from the Undergraduate Advisory Committee. That NBA group provides feedback to players on their potential draft stock by dividing the percentage of likelihood of being drafted in one of five draft-night categories (lottery, first-round non-lottery, first half of the second round, second half of the second round, or undrafted).
Huff said on that video call that it would be ideal to “test the waters” for the draft, but that the coronavirus pandemic might eliminate that possibility. The NBA Draft combine is scheduled to begin May 21, but it is unknown whether that will occur. Workouts, like the rest of the NBA operations, are on hold currently with no known return date.
“I did submit the feedback form, the UAC form, just to hear feedback,” Huff said. “Ideally, it would be really cool to test the waters but it kind of just depends on what happens and if there’s workouts to be had and if there’s a combine for anything like that. We’ll see.”
By submitting his name, Huff kept his options open. The NCAA’s early entrant withdrawal deadline is June 3; the NCAA rules state that the deadline to withdraw is 10 days after the NBA Draft Combine so theoretically that date could change if the combine gets rescheduled.
Huff just completed his best season to date with the Wahoos. He averaged career highs of 8.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.0 blocked shots. He shot 57.1% from the field and 35.8% from 3-point range.
ESPN rankings updated
ESPN.com updated some of its basketball rankings on Wednesday. The Top 100 for 2020 includes two members of Virginia’s incoming class. Both landed inside the top 50 nationally. Jabri Abdur-Rahim checked in at No. 35, among the highest rated recruits for the Tony Bennett era. ESPN ranked Reece Beekman at No. 48. He earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors in Louisiana. Both players carry four-star ratings, as does fellow 2020 recruit Carson McCorkle. He is the No. 33 shooting guard in the country in the rankings, but not among the top 100 overall.
The Top 60 for 2021 also has been updated. UVA does not have a commit from that class yet, but is in the running with several in the rankings. Each of the following have offers from Virginia with Trevor Keels and Efton Reid considered the top priorities for the Hoos per recruiting analysts:
- No. 15 – Max Christie, G
- No. 17 – Trevor Keels, G
- No. 19 – Kendall Brown, G/F
- No. 20 – Efton Reid, C
- No. 34 – Caleb Furst, F/C, Purdue commit
- No. 51 – DaRon Holmes, F
Worth Sharing post on Kyle Guy
An article from The Athletic put three writers together to do an all-time Virginia roster draft and that sparked some conversation on the men’s basketball message board. You can read that thread here.
One interesting series of posts that came out separately in this thread focused on Kyle Guy’s clutch moments in the run to the National Championship, most specifically those three free throws against Auburn in the Final Four. Message board poster Hoodlum pointed that those three shots at the line, however, were not the only ones from Guy.
Hoos In The News
There have been quite a few news items related to the Hoos this week on the basketball front. In addition to the Jay Huff NBA Draft declaration officially being listed and the ESPN recruiting rankings update, several other names familiar to UVA fans also popped up this week.
- Silver Waves Media, which appears to be a startup media company, named Virginia associate head coach Jason Williford as one of its “impactful high major assistant coaches” in Division I. The list notes that it is in alphabetical order so you’ll have to scroll to the bottom to read about Coach Williford.
- Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com updated his too early Top 25 rankings for next season. The Hoos remained in the top 5.
- On the women’s basketball front, former Cavalier assistant Tim Taylor was named as the head coach at Navy on Wednesday. Taylor worked at UVA under Debbie Ryan and Joanne Boyle. Taylor said he was “thankful and humbled” for the opportunity in the school’s official news release.Coach Ryan Tweeted this on Wednesday.
So happy for Tim Taylor and the Naval Academy! Tim is one of the finest human beings I know and this was a long time coming. Go to work my friend! Above all else have fun, love ur players and let it rip! U hold our future military Leaders in ur hands…lucky them.
— Debbie Ryan (@CoachRyanUVA) April 29, 2020
- Another familiar name in Virginia women’s basketball history, Val Ackerman, is in the headlines this week as well. She served as co-chair for the NCAA Board of Governors as it released information about name, image, and likeness rules for for college athletes. The board said it supported proposed rule changes that would allow college athletes to receive compensation through endorsements, personal appearances, and so forth. The possible rules changes would go into effect for the 2021-2022 athletic season. This Inside The NCAA Tweets summarizes part of Ackerman’s thoughts.
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) April 29, 2020
There also have been several videos recently related to Virginia basketball. Below, you’ll find a promotional video for the “Passion” pillar for the men’s hoops team, a Dave Koehn video interview with Malcolm Brogdon, and the latest from the driveway series created by Grant Kersey and Tomas Woldetensae (this one’s a tribute to a famous Ralph Sampson moment).
— Virginia Men’s Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) April 28, 2020
— Grant Kersey (@WhiteMamba_GK20) April 24, 2020