By Harvey Hoffman

Villanova sophomore forward Saddiq Bey has decided to remain in the 2020 NBA draft, ESPN is reporting.

Bey, No. 18 on ESPN’s list of the top 100 prospects, is 6-8 and considered one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft, well-regarded among teams for his versatility on both ends of the floor.

Executives and scouts see Bey’s potential as a 3-and-D player in the pros.

“This has been a pivotal time in our country and honestly not how I imagined the last few months playing out,” Bey told ESPN in a statement. “Between the pandemic and national outcry against racial injustice, it has given me a lot of time to think and gain perspective outside of basketball. I have thought a lot about my decision to enter the NBA draft and specifically how that would impact my teammates, coaching staff, and the pursuit of my degree.

“I am forever grateful to Villanova University.”

Bey was a unanimous All-Big East selection, averaging 16 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Wildcats. He shot 45% from 3-point range on 5.6 attempts per game. Bey is a native of Largo, Maryland, and an alumnus of Sidwell Friends School in Washington.

“Over the last two years, I have grown as a player, student, and man thanks to my coaching staff, teammates, and professors,” Bey continued. “Villanova has the greatest fans in the world and I will miss playing in front of them next year. I will always be a Wildcat.

“I am really excited to start the pursuit of my NBA career.”