Wichita State Shockers

Three Shockers apply for NBA evaluation of their pro basketball potential

Wichita State forward Zach Brown, left, and Markis McDuffie celebrate after Brown hit a three-pointer against Dayton during the NCAA Tournament.
Wichita State forward Zach Brown, left, and Markis McDuffie celebrate after Brown hit a three-pointer against Dayton during the NCAA Tournament. The Wichita Eagle

Wichita State’s Shaq Morris, Zach Brown and Markis McDuffie are taking a step toward evaluating their potential as pro basketball prospects.

All three sent in an advisory form for undergraduates, according to coach Gregg Marshall, to the NBA. That allows the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee to judge the athlete and provide information about their status as a professional prospect.

“We’re awaiting word right now on them,” Marshall said. “Depending on what they hear and what their mindset is at that point, they have the opportunity … to put their name in the pool of draft-eligible guys.”

April 23 is the deadline to declare for the draft as an early entrant. Players who do not sign with an agent are allowed to return to school if they pull out of the draft pool by June 12. The NBA Draft is June 22.

Early entrants give themselves the ability to participate in NBA workouts before making a decision. The information can also be valuable to an athlete contemplating a future in other professional leagues. Taking this step has become increasingly common in recent years, even for players who largely intend to return to school.

The committee consists of NBA executives and scouts.

All three players are participating in workouts with the team this spring.

“No one has declared for the draft,” Marshall said.

Morris is a junior center who completed his fourth season at Wichita State after redshirting as a freshman. Brown is a junior forward. McDuffie is a sophomore forward.

Former Shockers Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet applied to the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee after their junior seasons. Both returned to play as seniors after receiving feedback. In 2007, P.J. Couisnard also went through a similar process before returning to WSU.

While that precedent seems to indicate Shockers fans should feel confident about all three returning, Marshall is willing to wait on more information.

“We would welcome them back,” he said. “But this is about them.”

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