The two Creighton juniors who’ve declared for the NBA draft said they don’t see any downside to testing the professional hoops waters over the next few weeks.
Martin Krampelj and Davion Mintz indicated Wednesday that they may still return to Creighton for their senior seasons.
But they’d like to first try to find out more from executives and scouts about where they stand.
They hope to get feedback about their strengths and weaknesses. They might get a workout. At the very least, they’ll get exposed to the business side of the sport — NCAA rules allow for players to sign agents and still retain their eligibility, although Krampelj and Mintz both said they have not gone that route.
“I just want (teams) to see me, tell me what they think and what I have to work on,” Krampelj said. “Give me some confidence, or tell me what they’re really looking for.”
Said Mintz: “(The rules give) the players a chance to see where they’re at, get further evaluation and just make the most of the opportunity.”
They’ll have until May 29 to withdraw from the NBA draft and still remain eligible to return to Creighton.
If they do stay in school, Creighton would bring back its top seven scorers from a year ago. The Jays have already been included in a few of the national experts’ way-to-early top 25 lists for the 2019-20 season.
The potential of next year’s squad is something Krampelj said he plans to factor into his decision. Same goes for his affinity for the Creighton community, the fans, the coaches and his teammates.
But he’s 24 now. He’ll earn a degree from CU’s College of Business next month. He’s already battled back from three knee surgeries.
And he’s coming off his most productive college season — Krampelj earned Big East honorable mention.
Perhaps it’s time to take the next step, even if it’s not in the NBA. Playing overseas is something that the Slovenia native said he will consider.
“It depends how much interest they show — how they see me in their environment and their club,” Krampelj said. “If there’s a good option that opens up, you can’t turn it down or at least talk to them. So far, I don’t have anything on the table yet. But we’ll see what happens in the next couple weeks.”
That’s Mintz’s approach, too.
He finished fifth on the team at 9.7 points per game and emerged as Creighton’s top perimeter defender last year. He knows there’s plenty to work on.
But since the season ended, Mintz said he’s had several conversations with coach Greg McDermott. And he spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how he can best position himself to reach his goals. He’s eager to hear what the pros think now.
“I’m going with the mind-set of, I’ve got to work hard and I’ve got to play my game,” Mintz said. “Just working hard and seeing where my game is at.”