Of Arizona’s three NBA Draft entrants, Dalen Terry is the one who could still return to the Wildcats. And it sounds like that’s a real possibility.
“I owe it to myself to be here,” Terry said Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, per Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Sweeney. “If I can sneak in there and be a sleeper, be a first rounder, that’s what I’ll do. But if not, I’m going to go back to Tommy [Lloyd], we’re going to have a big smile and have a better year.”
Terry declared for the 2022 NBA Draft just like teammates Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko, but by retaining his NCAA eligibility he has the option to withdraw from the draft process by June 1 and return to school. Depending on which mock draft you look at, Terry is either projected to be a second-round pick or go undrafted.
Terry told NBATV’s Andy Katz that he’s not participating in 5-on-5 drills during the combine, rather he’d prefer a team that shows interest in him to bring him in for an individual workout.
“I’m definitely trying to find a team to fall in love with me,” he said. “They’re going to have to be transparent me. They can sign me up for a workout. I ain’t ducking no smoke.”
Terry averaged 8.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.2 steals last season for Arizona, finishing on a high note when he scored a career-high 17 in the Sweet 16 loss to Houston. In six Pac-12 and NCAA tournament games, Terry averaged 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals and made 9 of 15 3-pointers.
He told Katz that Arizona’s success in 2021-22, in which it won 33 games as well as the Pac-12 regular season and conference tourney titles under a first-year head coach, was due to everyone knowing what it took to win.
“Everybody was selfless, everybody knew what they had to sacrifice for us to win,” he said. “If it was for Benn to get 30 and I would get 10 assists, that’s what I would do. We all loved each other.”