Collins enters name in NBA Draft

David Collins is the second Bull in as many years to enter his name into the NBA Draft. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/USF ATHLETICS

For the second year in a row, a USF junior guard has entered his name into the NBA Draft.

David Collins announced he was entering his name into the draft via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Just as importantly, he also announced he would maintain his NCAA eligibility during the process.

“Since I was a kid, my dream has been to play in the NBA. With that I have decided to enter my name into the 2020 NBA Draft,” Collins wrote. “I will be keeping my eligibility options open throughout the process.”

In order to maintain his eligibility, Collins cannot hire an agent and must withdraw his name from the draft by the NCAA’s deadline to withdraw, which is currently scheduled for June 3 at 11:59 p.m. However, that date could easily change amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, especially if other draft events, like the combine from May 19-24, wind up pushed back. 

Collins’ move is a virtual replication of what Laquincy Rideau did following the 2018-19 season. Rideau entered his name into the 2019 draft and participated in the draft combine before withdrawing his name the day before the deadline. Throughout that process, Rideau maintained his NCAA eligibility, allowing him to play his senior season at USF afterward.

One of coach Brian Gregory’s first signings upon his hire in 2017, Collins has been one of the faces of the Bulls’ turnaround from laughingstock to legitimate contender in the AAC. 

“Really proud of [Collins]!! He has had a tremendous career to this point, and has put himself in a position to take this step,” Gregory tweeted. “I fully support him as he explores this process to gather feedback from the NBA, and I am looking forward to what comes next!!”

Named to the AAC All-Rookie Team in 2017-18, Collins averaged 11.3 points during conference play, second among freshmen in the conference.

Collins led the team in scoring each of the last two seasons and was named third team All-AAC in 2018-19. In the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) final, Collins made a game-winning jumper to take Game 1 and  was named series MVP following USF’s Game 3 victory over DePaul.

The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 25, though that could change depending on the pandemic.