It’s official. Missouri junior shooting guard Jabari Brown won’t be returning next season.
“This is an exciting day for our family, but it’s also a difficult chapter to close because Mizzou has become an incredible home for me,” Brown said in a news release from MU basketball. “There isn’t much I would change about my experience at Missouri, but if I could do it all over again, I would have been a Tiger right out of high school.”
Brown declared for the NBA Draft on April 2, but he initially didn’t sign with an agent and had until Tuesday to withdraw his name and remain eligible to return for his senior season with the Tigers.
Instead, Brown, who led Missouri and the SEC in scoring at 19.9 points per game last season, opted to stay in the NBA Draft. Missouri made the announcement Wednesday.
“We wish Jabari and his family all the best as he takes this exciting step into his professional career,” Tigers coach Frank Haith said in the same release. “Jabari accomplished a great deal during his two seasons at Mizzou and we know he will continue to represent the University of Missouri and our program with tremendous passion and class for many years to come.”
Nobody doubts Brown’s shooting ability, but he must improve his ball-handling, defense and the ability to create his own shot at the next level, ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla said.
“The physical attributes are there and the mental approach has improved greatly,” ESPN college analyst Fran Fraschilla said. “He’s a little more settled guy than the guy who left Oregon two years ago.”
Missouri now has two scholarships available after the dismissal of Zach Price.
Fellow junior Jordan Clarkson, who averaged 17.5 points as a 6-foot-5 point guard last season, declared for the draft March 31, but he hired an agent and wasn’t eligible to return to school as a result.
Scott Howard-Cooper at NBA.com lists Clarkson as the No. 8 point guard prospect.
“People see Jordan more as a potentially big point guard,” Fraschilla said. “People are intrigued by him, because at 6-5 he could be an above-average point guard.”
None of CBS Sports’ analysts — Gary Parrish, Zach Harper and Matt Moore — project either Clarkson or Brown will be chosen in the first round.
However, Harper has Clarkson going No. 31 overall with the first pick in the second round to Milwaukee. He projects Brown 49th to Phoenix.
Parrish has Clarkson joining Philadelphia with the No. 55 overall pick, while Moore pegs Brown as the No. 59 pick to Toronto.
According to NBADraft.net’s mock draft, Clarkson might be a fit for Charlotte with No. 24 selection in the first round, while Brown is slotted No. 43 to Minnesota.
Meanwhile, DraftExpress.com has Brown and Clarkson going back-to-back midway through the second round to the Minnesota and Charlotte with the 44th and 45th overall picks.