A third Mountaineer basketball player is going to check out his pro basketball opportunities.
Sean McNeil and Taz Sherman announced recently that they were going to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft.
Now sophomore guard Deuce McBride is following his teammates down that same path.
Just like McNeil and Sherman, McBride is NOT going to hire an agent, according to a WVU athletic department official. Thus he too will have the option of returning to the college ranks next season, if he doesn’t find his pro prospects to his liking this year.
“First off I would like to thank God because without him none of this would be possible,” Tweeted McBride. “From the first time I picked up a basketball my dream has been to one day be in a position to play in the NBA. After conversations with my family and the WVU coaching staff, I have decided that I will be declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft. Thank you to everyone that has helped me get to this point. I’m excited to go through this process!”
Those declaring for the NBA Draft have until May 30 to apply. If they do not hire an agent, which otherwise would forfeit their amateur standing, they have until July 19 to withdraw from the draft and maintain their collegiate eligibility.
The NBA plans on holding its draft combine June 21-27 and the lottery for the draft is June 22. The actual draft is slated for July 29.
McBride, McNeil and Sherman will be able to get evaluations from NBA personnel on their pro potential for next three and a half months before reaching the ultimate stay-or-go deadline of July 19. At that point, if they haven’t hired an agent, they can withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to the college ranks. If they stay in the draft pool after July 19, or hire an agent at any point, their college careers are over.
A second-team all-Big 12 selection this past season, McBride led West Virginia in scoring (15.9 points per game), assists (4.8 per game), steals (1.9 per game) and minutes played (34.1 per game). He made 157 of 364 field goal attempts (43.1%), 46 of 111 3-point tries (41.4%) and 100 of 123 free throws (81.3%), while also pulling down 3.9 rebounds per game. The Cincinnati native was tied for fourth in the Big 12 in scoring average, was second in the league in assists and first in assist/turnover ration (2.6).
Sherman was WVU’s third-leading scorer, averaging 13.4 points per game, while McNeil was right behind him in forth, averaging 12.2 points per game.
The ultimate decisions by this trio will be key for the 2021-22 Mountaineers. WVU center Derek Culver may also join his three teammates in testing the NBA waters, though he has not yet announced his intentions.
In addition, juniors Emmitt Matthews and Jordan McCabe are definitely leaving West Virginia’s program, as they’ve entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. McCabe has revealed that he is headed to UNLV, though Matthews has not yet announced his destination.
West Virginia did receive good news recently when forward Gabe Osabuohien announced that he was going to take advantage of the NCAA’s frozen year of eligibility in 2020-21 and return as a fifth-year senior next season.