CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati star Jacob Evans says he will “chase this dream of mine” and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, ESPN reported.
The junior shooting guard and UC's leading scorer the past two seasons told ESPN Sunday that he’s giving himself the option to change his mind, but he doesn’t think he will.
"I didn't sign an agent yet, but I'm entering my name with plans on getting picked in the first round. I'm not just testing to come back to school," Evans said.
Evans is projected 24th in the ESPN Top 100 draft prospects, which translates to a first-round pick and guaranteed money.
Jacob Evans was really good at UC. I think he'll be even better in the NBA. Skilled, versatile, can defend multiple positions and doesn't need to score 20 points to be effective. @WCPO
— Keenan Singleton (@KJMSingleton) April 1, 2018
Some players with college eligibility will weigh reviews from NBA teams before making a final decision to enter the draft by the NBA deadline. Players lose their NCAA eligibility when they sign with an agent. Xavier's Trevon Bluiett decided against the draft the past two years after getting feedback from NBA teams.
Evans said he discussed his options with coaches and family.
“I feel it's the best move for me,” he said. “An opportunity like this doesn't come around for many people, and I believe in my abilities and support team to go chase this dream of mine."
The 6-foot-6 Evans averaged 13 points per game last season along with 4.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals.
Evans’ versatility is one of his biggest selling points, according to ESPN. He handled the point guard role at times this season and should be able to play multiple positions in the NBA.
With Evans gone and Gary Clark and Kyle Washington using up their eligibility, coach Mick Cronin's Bearcats will be hard-pressed to repeat last season's success in 2018-19. UC (31-5) won both the AAC regular-season and tournament titles, finished No. 6 in the final Associated Press poll and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by Nevada in the second round.