Sports

Abmas pulls out of draft, will stay at Oral Roberts

Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas is withdrawing from the NBA draft and returning to school for his junior season, the men’s basketball program announced Wednesday on Twitter.

Abmas, the No. 48 prospect in the ESPN 100 NBA draft rankings, was named Summit League Player of the Year after leading NCAA’s Division I in scoring at 24.5 points per game as a 19-year-old sophomore. Abmas posted 80 points in three NCAA tournament games against Ohio State, Florida and Arkansas to lead Oral Roberts to the Sweet 16, elevating his standing significantly in the eyes of NBA talent evaluators.

Abmas did not have a great showing at the NBA combine in Chicago, posting just 12 points and 3 assists while shooting 3-for-18 from the field in 46 minutes of action, which was likely a factor in his decision to return to Oral Roberts. He’ll likely be a priority prospect for NBA decision-makers to evaluate next season as the scouting calendar returns to normal.

Oral Roberts is slated to host Oklahoma State next season and play an away game against TCU, giving Abmas opportunities to showcase himself against Big 12 competition.

Despite lacking size, measuring under 6-foot at the NBA combine, Abmas has an intriguing combination of shot-making, quickness, feel for the game, unflappable demeanor and youth. Making nearly four 3-pointers per game while converting 43% of his attempts, Abmas’ ability to pull up off the dribble immediately upon crossing half court made him one of the most entertaining and difficult players to defend in the college game.

After playing mostly off the ball as a freshman, Abmas successfully transitioned to the point guard position as a sophomore, showing polished ballhandling ability with outstanding court vision and creativity changing speeds out of pick-and-rolls, drawing some comparisons to Trae Young with his style of play.


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