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Big 12 Basketball NBA Draft Tracker: Tech’s McClung Staying in NBA Draft

NCAA Basketball: Sam Houston State at Texas Tech

Big 12 Basketball NBA Draft Tracker 2021: Check back often as we keep you up-to-date on Big 12 basketball players declaring for the NBA Draft.

 

May 17th: After debating whether or not to stay in the NBA Draft, Texas Tech guard Mac McClung announced on Monday that he will indeed chase his dream and stay in the 2021 NBA Draft.

McClung initially entered the transfer portal after Chris Beard left for Texas. Then he declared for the NBA Draft with the possibility of returning to Texas Tech. But new head coach Mark Adams couldn’t land what would have been his biggest “get” of the offseason.

McClung was named to the AP All-Big 12 first team after a strong season in which he averaged 15.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists, helping lead Texas Tech to the NCAA tournament, where it fell to Arkansas in the round of 32. He spent his first two seasons at Georgetown, before transferring to Texas tech last summer last summer. He had two years of eligibility remaining.

May 13: With Greg Brown’s decision to go to the NBA Draft, the Big 12 now has 21 players in the 2021 NBA Draft pool, though some of that membership is more ‘final’ than others.

Brown is foregoing the rest of his college eligibility to enter the draft. He’s one of four other underclassmen that have declared and are not coming back — Baylor’s Davion Mitchell, Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, Texas’ Kai Jones, and West Virginia’s Derek Culver.

Five other seniors — who had an additional year of eligibility due to COVID-19 — are also headed to the NBA. That includes Baylor guards MaCio Teague and Mark Vital, Kansas guard Marcus Garrett, Oklahoma guard Austin Reaves, and Texas guard Matt Coleman III.

The remaining players are underclassmen who are testing the waters or seniors that have left open the opportunity to return. That list includes Baylor’s Matthew Mayer, Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji and Jalen Wilson, TCU’s RJ Nebmhard and Kevin Samuel, Texas’s Courtney Ramey, Texas Tech’s Mac McClung and Terrence Shannon Jr., West Virginia’s Sean McNeil, Miles McBride, and Taz Sherman.

Missing from that list is Baylor guard Jared Butler, a player that many believe will declare for the NBA Draft and not return.

The NBA Draft is July 29. The deadline for early entry into the NBA Draft is May 30. The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft is July 19.


May 6: In The Athletic’s latest NBA Mock Draft, Baylor guard Davion Mitchell went No. 9 overall to the Toronto Raptors, further leading draft observers to believe that there could be two Big 12 players selected in the Top 10, along with presumed No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham.

Mitchell’s selection at No. 9 would make him a potential long-term replacement for impending free agent Kyle Lowry.

Cunningham, of course, went No. 1 overall in this mock, as author Sam Vecenie had the Houston Rockets selecting the Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

One other Big 12 player made it into the NBA Lottery selections (Nos. 1-14 overall), as Texas forward Kai Jones went No. 12 overall to Washington. Jones left two years of eligibility to enter the draft after vast improvement from his freshman to sophomore seasons.

Baylor guard Jared Butler also made it into the first round, as the Philadelphia 76ers took him at No. 25 overall. The 76ers are currently fighting for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Other Big 12 players went in the second round, including West Virginia guard Miles McBride at No. 36 overall (New Orleans), Texas Tech guard/forward Terrence Shannon Jr., at No. 39 overall (Detroit), Texas forward Greg Brown at No. 41 overall (Brooklyn), Oklahoma guard Austin Reaves at No. 51 overall (Philadelphia), and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett at No. 55 overall (New York).


April 29: Baylor senior guard MaCio Teague is leaving the Bears for the NBA, he announced on his Twitter page on Thursday afternoon.

Teague is hiring an agent, which means he won’t be returning to the Bears next season.

https://twitter.com/_MrDoWork/status/1387834521060532239?s=20

Teague, classified as a senior, could have returned for the 2021-22 season because the NCAA gave all players an additional year of eligibility to ‘winter sport student-athletes who compete during 2020-21 in Division I.’

Instead, he decided to end his career with the Bears on a high, after the Bears won the 2021 National Championship game over Gonzaga. He also helped the Baylor Bears win their first big 12 regular-season title in program history last season.

Teague averaged 15.9 points per game last season. He, Davion Mitchell, and Mark Vital have all declared for the NBA Draft, along with junior Matthew Mayer. Junior guard Jared Butler is the only other significant Baylor player that hasn’t announced if he’ll head to the NBA or return for another season.


April 29 – Longhorns G Coleman to NBA: Texas senior guard Matt Coleman III announced on Thursday through a Texas press release that he will turn pro and hire an agent, ending his career with the Longhorns.

Coleman could have returned for the 2021-22 season because the NCAA gave all players an additional year of eligibility to ‘winter sport student-athletes who compete during 2020-21 in Division I.’

Coleman was part of a Longhorns team that won the Big 12 Tournament in 2020-21. He is the first Longhorn to lead the program in assists in four straight seasons.

Coleman completed his UT career ranked third in school history in career games started (128), fourth in career assists (477), seventh in career assist-to-turnover ratio (1.73, 477-275) and 16th in career scoring (1,448 points).


April 28 – Texas G Ramey testing NBA Draft waters: In an Instagram post, Texas guard Courtney Ramey revealed that he would be submitting his name for the 2021 NBA Draft, but intended to leave his eligibility open. In the announcement, he also noted that he was committed to playing for the Texas Longhorns next season, should he take his name out of the NBA Draft pool.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @courtney_ramey

This answers one of the lingering questions about the Longhorns’ roster, as Ramey had been silent about the NBA Draft and remaining in Texas with the change in coaching staffs from Shaka Smart to Chris Beard.

With this announcement, it’s clear that Ramey has a path, or, rather, two paths for next season.

Last season Ramey averaged 12.2 points and 3.2 rebounds last season.


April 21: Kansas senior guard Marcus Garrett will enter the 2021 NBA Draft, as he made the announcement in a lengthy thank-you letter released by Kansas athletics on Wednesday night.

The letter included his thank you’s to Jayhawk Nation, Kansas head coach Bill Self, his family, and teammates.

https://twitter.com/KUHoops/status/1385038676137177089?s=20

Garrett ended the long letter with this:

‘I hope I just gave you a glimpse into how amazing these last four years have been for me. Now…it’s time for the next chapter in my life.

‘But don’t ever get it twisted, it’s Rock Chalk forever.’

Garrett could have returned for the 2021-22 season because the NCAA gave all players an additional year of eligibility to ‘winter sport student-athletes who compete during 2020-21 in Division I.’

He played four seasons at Kanas and had his best season, statistically, last season, where he averaged 11 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He was the 2020 Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year, and he was on the watch list for the 2021 award, won by Baylor’s Davion Mitchell.

While every Division I player has the option of the additional year of eligibility, Garrett faced a pressing decision because, as a senior, he faced the completion of his college eligibility.


April 21 – Kai Jones hires agent: Former Texas Longhorns forward Kai Jones announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he had signed with the Klutch Sports Group.

Klutch Sports Group was founded by Rich Paul and has represented a cavalcade of NBA players, the most prominent of which is LeBron James.

Jones declared early for the NBA Draft last month and is expected to go in the first round. A recent NBCSports.com mock draft had Jones going No. 9 to the Orlando Magic.


April 20 – OU’s Kur Kuath keeps his options open: Oklahoma forward Kur Kuath is keeping his options open, as in the past day he’s declared for the NBA Draft, kept his college eligibility and submitted his name to the transfer portal.

Kuath, who has a year of eligibility left, posted his declaration to the NBA Draft to his Twitter account late Monday evening.

https://twitter.com/RichHomieKur/status/1384323784232951812?s=20

Then, Kuath reportedly submitted his name to the transfer portal, and Kuath’s coach told 247sports.com that schools like Hawaii, Boston College, BYU, Marquette, Texas, and LSU had already reached out to Kuath about transferring, assuming that he decides to come back to school.

Kuath can retain his eligibility while he explores the NBA Draft, as long as he takes his name out of the draft pool before July’s NBA Draft. The early entry deadline is May 31.


April 16: Baylor’s Mayer submit names to NBA: Baylor forward Matthew Mayer is the third Baylor player to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft, though the junior is leaving the door open to return to the Bears for the 2021-22 season.

Mayer made his announcement on Instagram shortly after Baylor’s victory parade.

Davion Mitchell and Mark Vital have both declared for the NBA Draft. Mitchell made it clear he was hiring an agent, a signal that he doesn’t intend to return. Vital has started a ‘glue guy’ clothing line and has started interacting with fans on the social media platform Cameo, and with that it would seem impossible that he would return.

Mayer, however, by leaving his eligibility open, can come back if he withdraws his name later this spring. Mayer averaged nearly 9 points per game last season and turned heads during the NCAA Tournament with his ability to put the ball down on the floor and shoot the 3. The 6-foot-9 forward has popped up in the second round of at least one mock draft, which was right after the NCAA Tournament.

Two other Bears — Jared Butler and MaCio Teague — are expected, at some point, to make a decision about their future. Butler is a junior and is considered a first-round pick. Teague is a senior, but due to the blanket waiver for COVID-19 can return to Baylor for one more season.

 


April 15 – Mark Vital heading to pro ball: Baylor guard Mark Vital became the second Baylor player in three days to declare for the NBA Draft, posting his decision on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/MarkVitalJr/status/1382827614046281729?s=20

Vital wasn’t one of the Bears’ top offensive stars. But he did everything else for the Bears, including rebounding, defense, and grit. It led to him becoming the team’s ‘glue guy,’ a persona that led him to start selling T-shirts and hoodies with a homemade ‘glue guy’ logo on it. Plus, Vital joined social media site Cameo to send shout outs to Baylor fans, for a small fee.

Vital was a three-time All-Big 12 defensive team selection.


April 13 – Baylor’s Mitchell headed for NBA Draft: Davion Mitchell announced on Wednesday that he was leaving Baylor and entering his name into the 2021 NBA Draft.

Mitchell’s announcement came just a couple of hours after Baylor’s victory parade ended, in celebration of the team’s recent national championship. Mitchell told his Twitter followers last week that he would make his announcement after the festivities ended, and he wasted no time, posting the announcement to his Instagram feed. He noted that he would be hiring an agent, an indication that Mitchell does not plan to return.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Davion Mitchell (@daaay____)

Mitchell is projected as a lottery pick in recent mock drafts, as his stock has risen dramatically the past couple of months.

Other Bears could be announcing their intentions in the coming days, namely Jared Butler and MaCio Teague.

April 10 – Cunningham finds an agent: Former Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, the presumed No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, has signed with Excel Sports.

https://twitter.com/excelsm/status/1380916172309344256?s=20

Excel Sports Management supports professional athletes in marketing and management services, among others things. Excel represents NBA players like Andre Drummond, Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade and former Oklahoma Sooners forward Blake Griffin.


April 9: Mitchell Gets a Big Boost: Baylor guard Davion Mitchell moved into the Top 10 of ESPN.com’s 2021 NBA Mock Draft, released just a few days after the Bears wrapped up their first NCAA Tournament title.

Mitchell was one of three Bears, and one of several Big 12 players, that appeared in the mock draft. Some of them have already declared for the NBA Draft. Some have not. Mitchell has not officially declared for the NBA Draft, but a report filed by The Athletic’s Shams Charania noted that Mitchell will ultimately enter the draft.

This mock featured the following Big 12 players:

Oklahoma State G Cade Cunningham, No. 1 overall, Minnesota Timberwolves

Baylor G Davion Mitchell, No. 7 overall, Washington Wizards;

Texas F Kai Jones, No. 16 overall, Memphis Grizzlies;

Baylor G Jared Butler, No. 23 overall, Los Angeles Lakers;

Texas F Greg Brown, No. 30 overall, Utah Jazz;

Texas Tech G/F Terrence Shannon Jr., No. 33 overall, New York Knicks;

West Virginia G Miles McBride, No. 34 overall, Orlando Magic;

Oklahoma G Austin Reaves, No. 40 overall, Philadelphia 76ers;

Baylor F Matthew Mayer, No. 50 overall, Philadelphia 76ers.

The NBA is set for July 29, with the NBA Draft Lottery drawing set for June 22.

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