It sounds like Wenyen Gabriel’s NBA Draft decision will be a little more complicated than expected.
Earlier, Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader spoke with Gabriel’s brother, Komot, who said that a decision should come sometime next week.
If projected as a first-round pick, Gabriel would probably enter the draft, his brother said. If not projected as a first-round pick, he would return to UK. A decision is likely by the middle of next week, Komot Gabriel said.
Well, Wenyen got wind of this story, and he doesn’t agree with it.
It’s unclear if Gabriel disputing the part that he’ll decide next week, or if he’ll return to UK if he’s not a first-round pick. It’s probably the latter.
Still, there’s now no real clarity on Gabriel’s decision-making process. All we know is he is strongly considering a jump to the professional ranks, whether it be in the NBA or overseas.
This past season as a sophomore at UK, Gabriel averaged 6.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He reached double figures in three of his final five games, including a 23-point outburst against Alabama in the SEC Tournament.
Gabriel went for 16 points and 12 boards in a Round of 32 win over Buffalo in the NCAA Tournament. There was no doubt he was playing the best basketball of his career at the end of the season, which may ultimately be his last time at UK.
At this point, Gabriel may be waiting to see what PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt do. If both of them return, then it’s going to be harder for Gabriel to have a big role on next season’s team, so at that point, he may decide to play professionally.