Creighton

Damien Jefferson is one of two Creighton players, along with Denzel Mahoney, still considering whether to turn pro or return to school. Another Bluejay, Ty-Shon Alexander, has already decided to stay in the NBA draft.

Two Creighton seniors-to-be who’ve declared for the NBA draft will have until no later than Aug. 3 to decide whether to return to school or start their pro careers.

That NCAA-mandated deadline will move up if the NBA decides to hold its predraft combine in July. Typically, the NCAA withdrawal date is 10 days after the conclusion of the combine.

It’ll be whichever date comes first, the NCAA announced in a press release Thursday. But Aug. 3 is the latest.

Denzel Mahoney and Damien Jefferson have been testing the NBA draft waters since April.

But the pandemic suspended the NBA calendar, including predraft workouts and interviews that normally take place during May. It was announced Thursday that the NBA draft, originally scheduled for June, is set for Oct. 15.

Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president for basketball, said two more months should give prospective pros enough time to decide their next move.

“This provides the utmost flexibility to student-athletes testing the waters to make the most informed decision about their future during this uncertain time,” Gavitt said in a statement.

Creighton coach Greg McDermott previously told The World-Herald that he would not pressure Mahoney and Jefferson to make a decision any time soon.

Mahoney was the 2020 Big East sixth man of the year, averaging 12.0 points per game in his first season with the Bluejays. Jefferson started 29 of CU’s 30 games and averaged 9.6 points.

If they return to school, Creighton would bring back six of its top eight players from last year’s team, which earned a share of the Big East title.

Leading scorer Ty-Shon Alexander has already decided to remain in the draft. He signed with an agent in April.

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