Florida PG Andrew Nembhard withdraws name from 2019 NBA Draft, returns to Gators

By Adam Silverstein
May 29, 2019
Florida PG Andrew Nembhard withdraws name from 2019 NBA Draft, returns to Gators
Basketball

Image Credit: UAA Communications

Point guard Andrew Nembhard, coming off a stellar SEC All-Freshman season with the Florida Gators, announced Wednesday that he will return to school after entering his name for evaluation ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft. In a statement posted to Twitter in april, Nembhard explained that he was taking advantage of NCAA rules that allow players to be evaluated but give them the opportunity to remain in college if they so choose.

“Super excited to come back and play with my brothers and for Gator Nation! #year2,” he tweeted.

Though Nembhard improved as the 2018-19 season went on and started every game for UF, the first-year floor general averaged 8.0 points and 5.4 assists, shooting 41.4 percent from the field. He had a coming out party in the 2019 SEC Tournament with 20 points and six dimes in a win over a ranked LSU team, but he also had four turnovers in each of Florida’s final two losses of the season. He finished the season with 196 assists, fourth-most for a single season in program history.

Simply put, it was unlikely Nembhard remained in the draft past the May 29 deadline for withdrawal unless he received a stellar evaluation that puts him as a late first-round choice or early second-round selection with the ability to negotiate for a guaranteed contract. This despite the draft class being weak by comparison to prior seasons.

Now that Nembhard has removed his name from the pool, he will retain his NCAA eligibility with three years remaining.

Florida has lost three starters to graduation and three other scholarship players to transfer since the end of the 2018-19 season. The Gators do have a tremendous recruiting class on the way in, and it will be a boon for Nembhard to play with some of those incoming players next season as a means of boosting his stock. Losing Nembhard to the NBA would not have been crushing to Florida, but it would have be a major step back as he will be a cornerstone for the 2019-20 squad.

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