By Harry Allison
So, why did Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, a freshman at Villanova, announce last week that he would pull out of the NBA draft and return for his sophomore season?
He said the reason was the “uncertainty” of what the NBA was “going to do and just kind of the timeline of that.”
“I didn’t want to worry a lot about that throughout the times that we’re going through right now,” he said. “I just want to keep focusing on getting better and going back to Villanova and keep my mind-set set on that.”
Villanova has not had a one-and-done player under coach Jay Wright, and the program will not have one this year, either. In fact, the program’s last one was Tim Thomas, who was taken seventh in 1997, and that was even before the NBA’s so-called one-and-done rule went into effect, in 2006. It required players to be 19 and at least one year removed from their graduating high school class to enter the draft.
Robinson-Earl, a 6-9 prospect from the Kansas City area, “definitely would have gotten drafted,” Wright said, according to the New York Times. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, he was one of several players from high-profile programs who either withdrew from the draft or did not enter it.
The NBA’s early entry eligibility deadline, when underclassmen have to declare for the draft, is Sunday at 11:59 p.m., Eastern time. The deadline to withdraw is June 15 at 5 p.m., Eastern time. The draft is scheduled for June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The NBA has not announced any changes to those dates, or to the draft combine, which is scheduled for May 21 to 24 in Chicago — but it is widely expected that the draft will be postponed to August or September. It most likely depends on if the 2019-20 NBA season resumes and when it ends if it does. The NBA suspended its season on March 11.