Scottie Lewis returns to Florida basketball for 2020-21 season, delaying NBA career

By Adam Silverstein
April 6, 2020
Scottie Lewis returns to Florida basketball for 2020-21 season, delaying NBA career
Basketball

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

Scottie Lewis has decided to return to Florida Gators basketball for his sophomore season, choosing not to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft and test the waters of a professional career. Lewis, who started 22 of 30 games for Florida this season, was not projected to be a top selection.

“Gator Nation, as you all know, we have some unfinished business! Our season was cut short, and we were not able to complete our season that we were supposed to,” he wrote on Twitter. “My dream of playing in the NBA is still a top priority, but my heart is in Gainesville! With that being said, I am more than happy to announce that I will be returning for the 2020-21 season.”

Lewis, who averaged 8.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last season, came on late in the campaign for the Gators. He posted double-digit scoring efforts in three of the team’s last four games, including rousing efforts in Florida’s big win over LSU on Feb. 26 (18 points) and devastating loss to Kentucky on March 7 (season-high 19 points). He is also the first guard in program history to be a UF season leader in blocks (36).

Lewis flashed immense athleticism and ability throughout the year. With an additional year of seasoning, he should not only shine for the Gators next season but likely bump himself into first-round consideration for the 2021 NBA Draft.

The No. 7-ranked player in the nation out of Ranney High School, Lewis was universally projected as a second-round selection had he stayed in this draft.

Considering the coronavirus pandemic ended the 2019-20 season before postseason play could begin, Lewis missed out on a key opportunity to enhance his draft stock over a handful of games. Additionally, without opportunities to work out for teams in person, he would solely be relying on 30 games of tape in hopes of a team taking a risk on him with an earlier selection.

Florida could potentially return all of its key pieces from a young, developing team with the exception of forward Kerry Blackshear Jr., who exhausted his eligibility as a graduate transfer. Sophomore F Keytonate Johnson, the team’s best payer last season, is not listed among the top 60 prospects on most NBA Draft boards.

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