The NBA announced Tuesday that 233 players have officially filed as early-entry candidates for the 2019 draft.
Only one member of the Arizona Wildcats is listed — sophomore wing Brandon Randolph, who last week publicly announced his intention to test the draft process.
That means Chase Jeter is returning to the UA for his redshirt senior season. While the center would have been a long shot to be drafted, there would have been very little downside to him testing the process.
For one, he graduated in December and does not have much left to accomplish academically, though he is enrolled in grad school.
Secondly, a new-ish rule allows student-athletes to hire agents, work out for NBA teams, and still have the ability to return to school after receiving feedback. (Randolph has to make that decision by May 29.)
Evidently, Jeter wasn’t interested.
By returning, he presumes to be Arizona’s starting center for the second straight year. The Duke transfer averaged 10.9 points and 6.6 rebounds last season, but faded as the year went on, partly because of nagging back and knee injuries.
“It got difficult at the end,” Jeter said after Arizona lost in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Still, Jeter was happy how his season went, saying he matured as a player and proved to himself that he can produce at a high level, which was not the case when he was at Duke.
“When I came to Arizona I knew I wanted a role and an opportunity like this, and I think for a major part of the year I was able to show that,” he said.
Looking ahead, Jeter said he wants to improve his mid-range game, among other things.
“Obviously getting stronger, being able to knock down 3s if I’m open,” he added. “Typical things that you see big men in the pros doing everyday. I want to make sure I can bring that to the table.”