Iman Shumpert said today if he’s projected to be a second-round pick in the NBA draft he will likely return to Georgia Tech.
Most NBA mock drafts have Shumpert as a second-round pick at best. Though he’s an avid social media participant, Shumpert said he doesn’t put much stock in mock drafts on the internet. He was a second-team All-ACC player after averaging 17.3 points and 5.9 rebounds last season. A junior, he led Tech in almost every significant offensive category. He also made the conference’s defensive team.
He reached his decision after spending spring break with his family in their hometown near Chicago. He said his father, mother, brothers, high school coach, teammates and former Tech coach Paul Hewitt helped him. However, he hasn’t hired an agent, which means he can remove his name from the eligibility list.He said he’s known for a while that he was going to make himself eligible, whether or not he had a good year.
The news of his decision broke yesterday when Shumpert tweeted it during the press conference to introduce new coach Brian Gregory. Shumpert said he only tweeted because he was receiving a lot of tweets and facebook messages asking him if was leaving school. His father submitted the form earlier in the day so he thought the news was already out. He said he doesn’t regret sending the tweet because he didn’t mean the timing as a shot at Gregory or the program.
Gregory will help Shumpert set up workouts for teams around his class schedule. Former teammate Gani Lawal, who put his name after his sophomore season only to return, advised Shumpert to stay in school and finish the semester. Remaining in good academic standing will also ensure that Tech isn’t doubly penalized when the NCAA’s next Academic Progress Rate comes out.
He said he’s going to work to improve his long-range jump shot before auditioning for NBA teams. He hit 40.6 percent of his field goals, but 27.8 percent of his 3-pointers last season.
If he returns, Shumpert said he’s excited about playing Gregory’s up-tempo offense.The two met Monday and again today before Shumpert practiced his free-throw shooting.
“I think I would fit great,” he said. “Coach was talking about guards making plays. I don’t feel uncomfortable in any offense. As long as you trust the offense and guys around trust the offense guys will make plays.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC