Perhaps sooner than anyone expected, Nigel Williams-Goss is considering leaving Washington to enter the NBA draft.
“We just believe that it’s best to explore his options,” said Williams-Goss’ father Virgil. “This wasn’t something we were looking at. It was brought to us. Once that happened, the ball started rolling.”
Per NCAA rules, college basketball players who do not declare for the draft and who do not hire an agent must withdraw their name from consideration by April 15 to retain their college eligibility.
However, the NBA stipulates underclassmen have until April 27 to apply for early-entry to the June 26 draft.
Williams-Goss is expected to make a decision this week.
“We’re at ground zero,” Virgil Williams-Goss said. “And we’re going to build from here. … As a family we’ll decide when we’ll have to make a decision and over the next few days we’ll continue to gather information.”
Williams-Goss hasn’t applied for a draft analysis from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which consists of general managers and player personnel executives.
The 6-3, 185-pound point guard does not appear in 2014 mock drafts compiled by NBA.net, Draft Express and CBSsports.com. Among the 2014 draft prospects, ESPN’s Chad Ford ranks Williams-Goss No. 178 overall and No. 42 at his position.
Still, those projections could change if Williams-Goss, 19, were to formally enter the draft.
A former NBA front-office executive said he the general consensus was Williams-Goss was going to play 3-4 years at UW, which may have affected how many scouts evaluated him.
And that’s part of the reason why Williams-Goss wants to gather information about his draft status.
“Being up in the Northwest, we don’t’ get the same sort of coverage or exposure nationally,” Virgil Williams-Goss said. “So if we don’t promote our kids they (the NBA) will never know unless you do something spectacular. …. On the kids they’re looking at, Nigel on the court has outperformed a lot of them. That was the purpose.”
Still, this latest news is surprising considering Williams-Goss said he was anxious to return to Washington after the Huskies’ 67-61 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 tournament opener on March 12.
“No I don’t see myself doing that,” he said when asked about entering the NBA draft. “I’m planning on working on my game this summer and coming back to help this team win as many games as we can next season.”
When asked how long he plans to play at Washington he said: “I haven’t really thought about that. I really don’t know. I can’t tell you. But I see myself here for several years.”
Washington, which finished 17-15 last season and lost starters C.J. Wilcox, Perris Blackwell and Desmond Simmons, has big plans for Williams-Goss if he returns.
“You’d imagine next year he’ll come back and be one of the better point guards in the country,” coach Lorenzo Romar said weeks ago. “That’s what I see.”
The next several days will be an anxious time UW fans, but they’ve have been down this road before.
Last year, Wilcox flirted with the NBA before returning to Washington for his senior season.
During Romar’s 12 years at Washington, five players (Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes, Isaiah Thomas, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr.) left school early and each were taken in the NBA draft.