Elijah Minnie, who in his first season playing at Eastern Michigan led the team in scoring, will declare early for the NBA Draft, according to a source with knowledge of the redshirt junior forward’s immediate plans.
Minnie will not hire an agent, leaving open the possibility of his return to school for his senior season, the source said.
The source requested anonymity because no official announcement has been made.
Minnie, 6-foot-9 and 200 pounds, averaged 16.8 points in 35 games (34 starts) in 2017-18, after sitting out last season due to the NCAA transfer regulations.
Minnie, a Pittsburgh native, started his collegiate career at his hometown school, Robert Morris, before switching to Eastern Michigan. Also a fine defender, he averaged 6.1 rebounds and more than a block and steal per game this past season.
Eastern Michigan was 22-13 this season, coming on late to earn a bye into the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals. The season ended in the CIT tournament.
Assuming Minnie returns to school, Eastern Michigan figures to be quite formidable next season, with big man James Thompson IV and point guard Paul Jackson, another transfer (Eastern Kentucky), also heading into their senior seasons.
Early-entry candidates have until April 22 to declare for the NBA Draft, and until June 11 to withdraw their names and return to school, if they haven’t hired an agent.
That period serves as an evaluation window, with the NBA Combine set for mid-May.
The NBA Draft is June 21.
Detroit Mercy redshirt junior forward Kam Chatman is the only other state player to declare early for the draft so far, and he also doesn’t plan to hire an agent.
The college hoops world continues to wait on the decisions of standouts from Michigan State (Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr.) and Michigan (Moritz Wagner).