Huskies’ Nigel Williams-Goss considering NBA draft
Washington freshman point guard Nigel Williams-Goss is expected to decide this week if he will leave the Huskies and apply for the NBA draft.
Seattle Times staff reporter
After a record-breaking freshman season, Nigel Williams-Goss is considering leaving Washington and entering 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-foot-3, 185-pound point guard does not appear in 2014 mock drafts compiled by ESPN, NBA.net or Draft Express. 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 enter the draft.
“When you compare his numbers against some of the other point guards in this draft, he’s right there,” said a former NBA front-office executive. “To be honest — and I don’t think I’m the only one — but I haven’t studied him that closely because there was the assumption that he was a three-, four-year guy.
“So when you ask, what do I think? I don’t know. Yet. If he enters (the draft), everyone will study him more and get a better understanding of his game.”
Williams-Goss started all 32 games and led Pac-12 freshmen with 13.2 scoring and 4.4 assists averages. He also averaged 4.4 rebounds and was one of six players in the major power six conferences who averaged at least 13 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Williams-Goss, who was voted to the Pac-12 all-freshman team, was one of the few bright spots for the Huskies. He set UW freshman records with 32 points on Jan. 25 against Oregon State and 10 assists versus the Beavers on Feb. 22.
After a 67-61 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 tournament opener on March 12, Williams-Goss said he was eager to return to Washington.
“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 (17-15) loses starters C.J. Wilcox, Perris Blackwell and Desmond Simmons, but 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 for 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.
In 2012, Terrence Ross left after his sophomore season and Tony Wroten Jr. took off after one year. Ross was taken eighth overall by the Toronto Raptors and Wroten was the 25th pick in the first round by the Memphis Grizzlies.
During Romar’s 12 years at Washington, five players (Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes, Isaiah Thomas, Ross and Wroten) left school early and were taken in the NBA draft.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278
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