Gonzaga star Holmgren, Duke's Moore Jr. declare for NBA draft

Associated Press

Spokane, Wash. — Gonzaga stars Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard announced Thursday that they will enter the NBA draft.

Holmgren is expected to be a top five pick, while Nembhard is projected as a likely second-rounder.

Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren against Arkansas during a college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in San Francisco, Thursday, March 24, 2022.

Holmgren arrived at Gonzaga as one of the most lauded recruits in program history, a 7-footer with the passing and ball-handling skills of a guard. Holmgren was the West Coast Conference newcomer of the year, defensive player of the year and a first-team all-conference selection. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game, and was a third-team AP All-American.

“Since the day I arrived in Spokane and stepped onto the Gonzaga campus, you all have been the best family anyone could ask for,” Holmgren wrote on social media announcing his decision. “This year I’ve grown so much as a player and a person from the experiences we’ve shared as I represented the Bulldogs on and off the court. I’ve developed relationships that will last forever and I’ve had the time of my life.”

Nembhard spent two seasons at Gonzaga after transferring from Florida. He was a first-team all-conference selection and was the most outstanding player of the WCC tournament. Nembhard averaged 11.9 points and 5.8 assists per game.

Gonzaga was 59-5 in the games Nembhard played over two seasons.

“Coming to Gonzaga was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I am so grateful for this place,” Nembhard said. “I am thankful and blessed to be a part of teams with so much success and accomplishments, but nothing compares to all the relationships I have made over these last two years that will last me a lifetime.”

Gonzaga’s had four players declare for the NBA draft this spring: Holmgren, Nembhard, Julian Strawther and Drew Timme.

Duke captain Wendell Moore Jr. declares for NBA draft

Wendell Moore Jr. is the third Duke player this week to announce plans to enter the NBA draft.

The school revealed Moore's decision Thursday night, saying he would hire an agent. The 6-foot-5, 213-pound junior and potential first-round pick won the Julius Erving Award as college basketball’s top small forward this season.

Ranked as the No. 34 draft prospect by ESPN, Moore showed versatile athleticism that let him play on the ball or as a slasher while routinely taking on top defensive assignments.

Duke forward Wendell Moore Jr. celebrates after scoring against North Carolina during the second half of a college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Saturday, April 2, 2022, in New Orleans.

“I’ve grown so much over the last three years — experienced highs and lows that will shape me for the rest of my life,” Moore said in a statement. "It has truly been an honor to be a Blue Devil, and although I will miss those moments with my teammates, I will cherish them forever.”

Moore follows 7-foot-1 sophomore Mark Williams and 6-10 star freshman Paolo Banchero into the draft.

Moore averaged career highs of 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists. The team captain also improved his outside shot, shooting 41.3% from behind the arc after shooting 28.3% through his first two seasons. He shot 50% from the field overall.

Moore started all 39 games to help the Blue Devils reach now-retired Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s record 13th Final Four while also winning the program’s first outright Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title since 2006.

“He was there for us every minute,” Krzyzewski said in a statement, adding: “He will be an immediate asset to an NBA team.”

Prior to this season, Moore — a high school recruit out of Charlotte — etched his name into the lore of the Duke-UNC rivalry as a freshman when he scored on a putback of an airballed jumper as time expired in Duke's wild overtime victory in February 2020.