NCAA

Gonzaga trio to test NBA draft waters

6Guard Joel Ayayi became the third Gonzaga player to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft. Like his teammates, he’s testing the waters and is not guaranteed to leave the Bulldogs.

“I am entering the NBA draft, but my number one option is still to return to Gonzaga. I love the coaches, the school and my teammates,” the redshirt sophomore said in a prepared statement released Saturday.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty with what might happen to next year’s NCAA season, so entering the draft gives me a little more time to evaluate that. I am not hiring an agent and will work directly with Coach [Mark] Few and the GU coaching staff to make the best decision prior to the NCAA draft withdrawal date. Zag Up!”

Players can maintain their college eligibility by withdrawing by June 3.

Also Saturday, NBA draft analyst Matt Babcock reported that 6-foot-11 sophomore forward Filip Petrusev will enter the draft without hiring an agent.

On Thursday, junior forward Corey Kispert said the same.

“It’s always been my dream to play in the NBA and going without an agent allows me to see where I stand,” Kispert posted to Twitter.

“If the evaluations tell me I need to elevate my game further, I would be thrilled to return to Gonzaga and play for Zag Nation.”

Ayayi, Petrusev and Kispert were key contibutors for Gonzaga, which was 31-2 on the season and 15-1 in West Coast Conference play. The Bulldogs likely would have been a No. 1 seed had the NCAA Tournament been played.

Petrusev was the WCC Player of the Year. He, Kispert and senior Killian Tillie were named to the All-WCC first team.

Petrusev led Gonzaga with 17.5 and 7.9 rebounds per game. Kispert was second with 13.9 points per game and made 43.8 percent of his attempts from 3-point range. Ayayi averaged 10.6 points and added 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25 but could be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

–Field Level Media

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