Michigan State’s Aaron Henry withdraws from draft


Michigan State Shooting Guard Aaron Henry will retire from the NBA Draft and return to school, he told ESPN on Sunday.“This decision was based on wanting to maximize my chances of being coached by the best coach in the game, Tom Izzo and reaching my dreams and my full potential,” Henry told ESPN. “I wanted to put myself in the best possible position and not rush anything to be sure to start my career on the right foot. It was a tough decision, but the third year will be the year. ”

The NCAA deadline for players to withdraw from the NBA Draft and maintain college eligibility is Monday.

Henry, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, was ranked No.55 in the ESPN 100. An athletic long wing with strong two-way potential, Henry will be asked to take on a bigger load next season on a team of Spartans who leaned heavily on Cassius Winston, the All-America main playmaker, who is now gone.

“Cassius leaves big shoes to fill. He was asked to do everything for the state of Michigan, ”said Henry. “I hope to play a bigger role with the ball in my hands. Things will certainly be different. Everyone will have to come together and be a piece of the puzzle. NBA teams want to see me in a bigger role. . They want me to be the man on a team. I’m not afraid of it. Let’s go. ”

Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman retains his name in the NBA Draft, ending his college career after three seasons with the Spartans.

As a junior, Tillman averages 13.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.1 blocks, while shooting 55.0 percent from the field.

The NBA Draft, originally scheduled for June 25, has now been postponed to October 16.

NBA front offices have braced themselves to make lead decisions without a traditional pre-draft process – which typically includes access to private practice, a combine project, or pro days – due to limitations likely to be in place due to the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic, particularly commercial travel.

“It played a big role, not being able to work for the teams,” said Henry. “Not being able to get close and show them specific things they had question marks on. I think many of these questions would have been answered had the pandemic not continued. The virus played a big role in people’s decision. The players. like me who depends on things like training or the NBA combine to increase my stock. We needed it. It is what it is. I’m not angry or in a hurry about this. ”

Henry’s return is a major boon for a Michigan state team that is expected to be one of the top 10 teams in college basketball. Izzo has been playing a major role on the recruiting front lately, reeling from three five-star prospects in the 2021 and 2022 classes, including Emoni Bates, considered arguably the most talented player in high school basketball. Henry says there’s a reason the state of Michigan has been able to recruit and retain so much talent.

“It’s a family atmosphere here. We are extremely close, ”he said. “The coaching staff are honest and stick with us at all times. Everyone in our group feels it. It’s the best place to play in the country, why wouldn’t you want to play here? “


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