Texas Tech forward Kevin McCullar will put in his name for the 2022 NBA Draft, but will retain his two years of eligibility, which would allow him to return to Lubbock.
McCullar, who is the only link to the Red Raiders’ 2019 national championship game run, which ended with an overtime loss to Virginia, is coming off a season in which he helped Texas Tech to the Sweet 16 for the third time in the last four tournaments. Tech lost to Duke in the round of 16 on Thursday.
McCullar announced his intentions on social media on Sunday.
Because McCullar is leaving his eligibility open, he can go through the entire NBA pre-Draft process, including the NBA Scouting Combine (if invited) and return to Lubbock if he doesn’t like his potential draft position.
His teammate, Terrence Shannon Jr., did that last season before returning to the Red Raiders. He put his name in the transfer portal right after Texas Tech’s loss to Duke in the Sweet 16. But, like McCullar, he hasn’t ruled out a return to the Red Raiders.
In a clear example of how the process can help a player with eligibility remaining, Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji also did this last summer. He went through the draft process and returned after he was evaluated as a second-round pick. His play this season at Kansas has moved him into first-round status, with the potential of him being selected in the NBA Draft Lottery portion, which is the first 14 picks.
McCullar was one of the players who announced he would return to Texas Tech immediately after Mark Adams was elevated to head coach last April. McCullar averaged 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Red Raiders in the just-completed season.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.