Weekend notes: NBA combine invites announced, Niego to Hillsdale

  • 05/02/2016 9:08 am in

Indiana will have just one representative at next week’s NBA draft combine in Chicago, according to a list compiled by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

The NBA has not yet released an official list of who will attend the combine, but according to Goodman’s list, Troy Williams is the only Indiana player who was invited to participate.

Yogi Ferrell is listed as an alternate on the list of participants, which was also reported by Draft Express. Indiana junior guard James Blackmon Jr. is not on the list as a participant or an alternate.

The draft combine will take place from May 11-15.

Underclassmen who have declared for the draft but chose not to hire an agent will have until May 25 to withdraw their names and maintain their NCAA eligibility.

Niego heading to Division II

Former Indiana walk-on guard Harrison Niego has a new home.

The 6-foot-2 guard, who announced he was leaving Indiana in early April to pursue a Division I scholarship opportunity, has decided to go the Division II route.

Niego announced on social media over the weekend that he’s transferring to Hillsdale College in Michigan. According to reports, Niego will receive a full scholarship at Hillsdale.

In 25 games as a freshman for the Hoosiers, Niego scored 11 points and had 15 rebounds.

“Coming to IU and being part of the program has been one of the best experiences of my life,” Niego said at the time of his transfer. “After much thought, I have decided to look for opportunities that will allow me to have an expanded role on the court and one that will also pay for my education. I’m indebted to Coach Crean and the staff for believing in my ability and inspiring me every day to get better and to my teammates who will always be like family. It has been an honor to play for Indiana.”

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  • Good luck Niego

    People say there’s no downside to the new rule to allow kids to declare for the draft and still maintain eligibility, but it’s taking away slots at the combine from upperclassmen like yogi who would have otherwise gotten a spot there.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    really appreciated HN’s contributions last season. can’t be overstated how important his minutes were giving YF time to rest and recharge. certainly wish him best of luck

    nothing surprising on the draft status, so that’s good. if TW comes back andor JBJ doesn’t, then i’ll be surprised. big time

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Interested to see if JBJ gets an invite. doesn’t sound like it…

  • Arch Puddington

    I don’t see this as a downside. Yogi and the other seniors have had four years to prove their game, and while it could be helpful to them to put on a good show at an event like this, I don’t think they are hurt by not going. He is a well known commodity. He won’t be a first round pick regardless. so the question for a player like him is does he get taken in the second round, or just invited to camps. There is no guaranteed contract either way, just the chance to prove himself on the court. That is all he would have had at the combine, so at least as I see it, nothing really changes for him. And I have read that many NBA guys think he will eventually find a spot, so there is plenty of reason to be hopeful.

    Given the real benefits this will have for both individuals and college basketball as a whole, I really do see it as unequivocally good. Perhaps it can be tweaked in the years to come, but the dose of reality it is going to provide dozens (hundreds?) of players will get at least some of them to wake up to the fact that they need to not only continue working on their game, but complete their education. And guys like Yogi, Kaleb Tarczewski, and other seniors who didn’t get invited will certainly still get a chance.

  • Arch Puddington

    Even if the NBA guys thought he was otherwise worthy of an invite, he is not physically ready. Still recovering from surgery, not likely to be up for full-speed play for weeks or even months. I think for him this is just about the candid advice and commentary of NBA guys, not playing at the combine.

  • The problem with this argument is players change every year. Yogi was a much different player his senior year than any of his previous years. They can learn just as much about Yogi’s game as any freshman in the combine.

  • SilverAtlanta

    Nothing but the best Harrison!

  • Arch Puddington

    “They can learn just as much about Yogi’s game as any freshman in the combine.”

    Come on, now. NBA scouts have four years of watching Yogi develop physically, add to his game,and play against elite competition. He has played for good teams and bad teams, played in multiple B1G and NCAA tournaments, played in an international competition, and fought through off the court adversity. To say that there is as much to learn about him as there is about “any freshman in the combine” is more than a little over the top. The difference between an 18 year old and a 22 year old can be significant; from 22 on the changes are less significant. I’m rooting for Yogi as much as you, but he is who he is.

    He’ll get his chance with or without the combine, and even if he doesn’t make a roster immediately, he’ll have a chance in either the D-League or overseas to prove himself as a pro.

  • It has already been reported that he didn’t get an invite. He is also not an alternate.. So not only doesn’t it sound like it.. It ain’t there.

  • TomJameson

    I agree with Arch about the NBA scouts knowing all they need to know about Yogi, but on the other hand, I don’t think Yogi gets the respect that I think he deserves. Really, he never has … and most probably because a lot of focus seems to be his height. I think he has the speed and offense (and IMO defense) to play at the next level, and he probably will. IMO, he should have been invited to the combine, but I really do think he’ll be playing pro before long, no matter what the route.

    Tweaking the combine … with this new rule, and the additional number of possible invitees, I can see the combine either expanding or having two going on at once. Not different levels, but just simultaneous combines to save time. Yeah, I can see some changes after “they” see how this year shakes out.

  • TomJameson

    I wish nothing but the best for Harrison Niego. He is a guy who’s life-long dream was to play at IU. And as a walk-on freshman, he contributed to the teams success. I wouldn’t be surprised if, after a year at D2, HN goes up to a D1 program. He could really shine for somebody. I’d like to keep track of his progress.

    Alex, maybe a note to self about an update once-in-a-while, letting us all know how Harrison is doing throughout the playing season?

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Thanks. I figured as much, but just didn’t see anything official.

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Agreed and that was my first inclination when I heard he was declaring. I didn’t see why some people on this site were making such a big fuss.