UF’s Hudson to test NBA waters, but he won’t sign with an agent
Published on Thursday, 3/29/18, at 3:26 p.m. Eastern.
Florida’s Jalen Hudson announced Tuesday that he will enter the NBA Draft a year early. However, he doesn’t plan to sign with an agent, leaving the option of returning to the Gators on the table.
He announced his decision via this Instagram post:
Hudson sat out the 2016-17 campaign after transferring to UF from Virginia Tech. He led the Gators in scoring by averaging 15.4 points per game. Hudson also averaged 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocked shots per game.
He made 45.4 percent of his field-goal attempts, drained 40.2 percent of his 3-pointers and knocked down 66.2 percent of his free throws. Hudson scored 39 combined points in a pair of NCAA Tournament games, 16 in a spread-covering beatdown of St. Bonaventure and 23 in a gut-wrenching 69-66 loss to Texas Tech in the Round of 32.
In the latest 2018 mock at nbadraft.net that was updated this morning, Hudson was listed as the 48th overall pick in the second round to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Mike White’s team is losing Egor Koulechov and Chris Chiozza, the team’s second and third-leading scorers, respectively. Chiozza is the school’s all-time assists leader and will leave a huge void.
White plans on replacing ‘Cheese’ with the prize of his 2018 recruiting class that’s currently ranked 13th in the nation at Rivals.com. I’m talking about 6’4″, 185-pound point guard Andrew Nembhard, a five-star recruit out of Montverde Academy in the Orlando area. Rivals has Nembhard ranked as the nation’s third-best point guard and 16th-best overall player.
UF has also inked a pair of four-star recruits in Noah Locke, a 6’2″ 175-pound guard, and Keyontae Johnson, a 6’5″ 220-pound forward out of Oak Hill Academy. Locke and Johnson are ranked the 60th and 69th-best overall players in the country by Rivals.
KeVaughn Allen, Mike Okauru and Deaundre Ballard are UF’s returning guards. Two other starters, center Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone, are also back. Depending on whether or not Hudson returns, this quartet (minus Ballard, that is) could make up the starting lineup along with Nembhard.
Dontay Bassett played his best basketball in late February before sustaining a concussion. He’s a quality defender and rebounder who brings size and energy to the table and will get plenty of minutes at either forward spot.
Rising junior center Gorjok Gak will play a reserve role behind Hayes. Chase Johnson and Isaiah Stokes are also on the roster. Johnson was limited to four games due to an injury and Stokes took a redshirt while recovering from an ACL tear sustained during his senior season of high school.
If Hudson returns, Florida will undoubtedly be a preseason Top 20 team. If he doesn’t, the Gators will be a borderline Top-25 team going into the 2018-19 season, White’s fourth since replacing Billy Donovan after his iconic tenure in Gainesville.