The decision to stay or go when it comes to the NBA Draft is one of the most challenging that an elite college basketball player will face.
While some players are able to improve their stock and get selected higher than they would have if they had left college sooner, others are not so lucky. Missouri big man Jontay Porter and Syracuse wing Tyus Battle both ranked in the Top 50 of our aggregate mock draft in May 2018 before electing to return to college. Unfortunately, for varying reasons, neither player was drafted last week.
Several other prospects were in a draft-able range on our aggregate mock draft at one point last season and opted for another year of college basketball only to go undrafted as well. This list most notably includes Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s), Charles Matthews (Michigan) and Caleb Martin (Nevada).
Among those who tried to improve their draft stock but ended up on the outside looking in once again were Sagaba Konate (West Virginia), Kris Wilkes (UCLA), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Kerwin Roach (Texas) and Robert Franks (Washington State).
It remains to be seen how going back to school will affect players like Devon Dotson (Kansas), Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky), Killian Tillie (Gonzaga), Jordan Nwora (Louisville), Neemias Queta (Utah State) and AJ Lawson (South Carolina).
It is worth mentioning that international big man Goga Bitadze ranked No. 69 overall before he decided to withdraw from the NBA Draft last season. Last week, he was selected by the Indiana Pacers at No. 18 overall.
For this list, we only looked at NCAA players who were early entries in the 2018 NBA Draft, but withdrew their name from consideration and delayed their process until this season.
PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets
Aggregate Mock Draft Rank in 2018: 63
Actual NBA Draft Position in 2019: 12
Last season, his father told reporters that Washington would have stayed in the draft if a team selecting in the first round gave him a promise that they would select him. His draft stock was certainly not there yet and the decision to play at Kentucky for another season earned him a lottery selection.
He increased his scoring from 22.7 points per 100 possessions to 30.8 points per 100. Washington also improved his rebounding rate from 11.6 percent to 15.3 percent. The forward had the second-most win shares per 40 minutes in the SEC last season and he was a finalist for the Wooden Award, which is given to the most outstanding college basketball player.
His jump shot ranked in the 98th percentile among all college players last season, per Synergy Sports. Washington also ranked in the 93rd percentile off the catch.
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