Sunday, July 3, 2022

2022 NBA Draft underclassmen decision tracker: Takeaways after deadline to declare

A look at the list of underclassmen who have declared for the NBA Draft

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The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2022 NBA Draft came and went Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. ET with very little noise. All 30 prospects on the CBS Sports Big Board rankings — those with first-round draft grades — either declared or are testing the waters, as expected, with no major surprises on deadline day. And of the 60 players on the Big Board, only three — all of whom projected as second-rounders — are definitively returning to school.

However, we still await news on a handful of talents who have not indicated one way or another whether they are staying or going. Those players include Michigan freshmen Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate as well as Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson, and several others just outside our Big Board have yet to publicly announce one way or another.

We’re also not through the entire draft process, either. But with most of the class publicly announcing, our tracker taking stock of the 2022 draft landscape ahead of this summer is nearly complete. Next up we’ll have a pre-draft process and the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline of June 1 for those who intend to return to school. So as players decide whether to stay in the draft or return to school, the tracker will also update. For now, let’s look at a few key takeaways from the deadline. 

Huge news for North Carolina

Word of Armando Bacot’s return next season for North Carolina was significant for the Tar Heels, giving them an established star big man to build around. However, Caleb Love’s return this weekend was even bigger, at least related to the draft. Bacot was not a top-60 prospect; Love was a borderline first rounder. Getting him back into the fold gives UNC four of its five starters returning for next season. It’s why Gary Parrish ranks the Tar Heels as the clear No. 1 in his latest Top 25 And 1.

Big potential in the Big Ten

The Big Ten routinely rates out as a top-three conference in college basketball. So the earth will continue to spin on its normal axis if it loses a few draft prospects. However, it could potentially be a star’s league in 2022-23 pending several players in the draft with Ohio State’s Malaki Branham and Michigan State’s Max Christie entering the draft but leaving open the option to return to school. Both could be first-round picks — they’re 18 and 22 on the Big Board, respectively — if they stay. Both could be stars in the sport if they return. They, along with Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate, could go a long ways towards determining the potential hierarchy of the sport next season.

Sharpe’s status gets complicated

After joining Kentucky at the midyear point, Shaedon Sharpe, the former No. 1 recruit in his class, maintained (despite never playing for UK) that he’d return to school in 2022-23. And maybe, just maybe, he will. But that’s a complicated situation that we’ve gained clarity on in recent days after he entered the draft. If he stays in the draft, he’s a clear top-10 pick. The expectation is that he ultimately will leave college without playing a minute for UK, but with him leaving open the option to return, the situation for now leaves us with uncertainty in what appears to be the biggest looming decision in this year’s draft. 

Underclassmen on the NBA Draft Big Board

Check out Boone’s entire NBA Draft Big Board for his top 60 NBA Draft prospects

Other notable early entrants

  • James Akinjo, Baylor
  • Teddy Allen, New Mexico State
  • Adonis Arms, Texas Tech
  • Justin Bean, Utah State
  • Marcus Bingham Jr., Michigan State
  • Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State
  • Keion Brooks, Kentucky
  • Johni Broome, Morehead State
  • Gabe Brown, Michigan State
  • Tyler Burton, Richmond
  • Anthony Duruji, Florida
  • Kyle Foster, Howard
  • Jordan Hall, Saint Joseph’s
  • Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers
  • Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
  • Jaden Jones, Rutgers
  • Peter Kiss, Bryant
  • Jake Laravia, Wake Forest
  • Kenneth Lofton, Louisiana Tech
  • Tyrese Martin, UConn
  • Kevin McCullar, Texas Tech
  • Justin Minaya, Providence
  • Isaiah Mobley, Missouri State
  • Taze Moore, Houston
  • Justyn Mutts, Virginia Tech
  • Osun Osunniyi, St. Bonaventure
  • Nijel Pack, Kansas State
  • Lester Quinones, Memphis
  • Courtney Ramey, Texas
  • Nate Roberts, Washington
  • Orlando Robinson, Fresno State 

  • David Roddy, Colorado State
  • Marcus Sasser, Houston
  • Jaden Shackelford, Alabama
  • Cole Swider, Syracuse
  • Ryan Turell, Yeshiva 
  • Drew Timme, Gonzaga
  • Au’Diese Toney, Arkansas
  • Jordan Walker, UAB
  • Alondes Williams, Wake Forest
  • Jaylin Williams, Arkansas
  • Vince Williams, VCU
  • Trevion Williams, Purdue
  • Daivien Williamson, Wake Forest   

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