SEC NBA Draft Deadline Decisions: Kobe Brown is gone, Tennessee Stars Split

On3 imageby:Nick Roush05/31/23


(Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images)

The Kentucky Wildcats were not the only SEC school patiently waiting for important decisions just hours before the NBA Draft withdrawal deadline.

Aside from Oscar Tshiebwe, Kobe Brown was the biggest unknown in the Southeastern Conference entering Wednesday’s deadline. The Missouri forward was a Second Team All-SEC selection in 2022. He averaged 15.8 points per game and 6.4 rebounds while knocking down 45.5% of his three-point attempts.

Kobe Brown was projected by many as a second round selection. However, there was speculation that he may return to college and enter the transfer portal. After the Big Blue Nation saw him drop 30 on the Wildcats, there were plenty of Kentucky fans hoping he could be a potential option in the transfer portal.

Ultimately, Brown decided he did enough in three years at CoMo and announced his intent to remain in the NBA Draft. Scratch another name off the board, BBN.

Tennessee Loses One Former Top 25 Recruit, Another Returns

Josiah-Jordan James was a top 25 player in the 2019 recruiting class. The forward from Charleston, South Carolina is not ready to move on just yet. After participating in the NBA G League Combine, he announced he will be back for a fifth season at Tennessee. A starter in 87 of 108 career games, JJJ averages 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game during his first four seasons.

Rick Barnes is bringing one former top 25 recruit back to Rocky Top and losing another. Julian Phillips was the No. 13 player in the 2022 recruiting class. He scored 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 2022-23 to earn a spot in the All-SEC Freshman Team, then he hit the portal to explore all of his options. Kentucky kicked the tires, but Phillips ultimately decided to remain in the NBA Draft.

Alabama Point Guard out of NBA Draft Contention

One of the best defensive post players in the SEC decided to depart earlier than expected. The Crimson Tide lost Charles Bediako to the NBA Draft, but they’re bringing back their best ball-handler.

Jahvon Quinerly was a McDonald’s All-American that started his career at Villanova. In his first season with the Crimson Tide he was named Most Outstanding Player of the SEC Tournament, Alabama’s first tournament title since 1991. Last season he was the first man off the bench for Bama, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Quinerly tallied 8.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game and named Co-SEC Sixth Man of the Year, sharing the honor with Antonio Reeves. After considering the NBA Draft, he decided to come back to Tuscaloosa for one more season.

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