There’s no longer an established deadline for seniors-to-be Denzel Mahoney and Damien Jefferson to decide if they want to turn pro or return to CU to finish their college careers.
They’ve declared for the NBA draft — and originally they were supposed to figure out their next move by Wednesday. But the NCAA lifted that deadline and has yet to pick a new date.
McDermott said he’ll give Mahoney and Jefferson as much time as they need.
“They don’t have to make a final decision any time soon,” he said.
The NBA’s June draft hasn’t been officially postponed, though it’s expected to be pushed back until August or September. The NBA combine has yet to be rescheduled.
Mahoney, the 2020 Big East sixth man of the year, has signed with an NCAA-certified agent, Trinity Best, to help him navigate the draft process. That’s allowed within the NCAA’s eligibility rules, provided that Mahoney terminates his relationship with Best if he decides to return to Creighton.
Ty-Shon Alexander also signed with an agent, Nathan Conley, but he’s already announced he’ll forgo his senior season to begin his pro career. Alexander was CU’s leading scorer last season and a first-team All-Big East performer.
McDermott said he wouldn’t mind if the NCAA used this opportunity, with this uncertain calendar, to allow all undrafted college players the option to return to school as long as they haven’t jeopardized their eligibility during the pre-draft process.
“It seems like this would be a great year to try it,” he said.
The NCAA does have future plans to allow NBA combine participants to return to school if they don’t get drafted. But the NCAA has stated it needs the NBA to first adjust its free agent rules before finalizing that piece of legislation.
» Creighton signed two international recruits this spring — 6-foot-9 forward Modestas Kancleris (Lithuania) and 6-4 guard Rati Andronikashvili (Georgia). But given the travel limitations during the pandemic and the steps required to acquire a visa, it could be a couple months before they’re able to move to Omaha and officially join the team.
“Even if we were allowed to come back in June, I don’t think those guys could be here until later this summer,” McDermott said.
» Junior point guard Marcus Zegarowski and junior center Jacob Epperson have been approved to work with Creighton medical staff as they rehab from injuries. So they’re both in Omaha and progressing well, McDermott said.
“They’re right on schedule, or even ahead of schedule,” he said.
Zegarowski had surgery on a torn meniscus in March. Epperson missed last season after breaking a bone in his leg in October.