The NBA on Tuesday released its early-entry list of players who have declared for the NBA Draft, which included 233 names (175 are collegiate underclassmen and 58 are international players).
Not among the names on the list is University of New Mexico junior forward Vance Jackson.
The 6-foot-9 junior-to-be last month left Albuquerque to train at his home in California to test the NBA Draft waters and take advantage of a new NCAA rule allowing players with college eligibility remaining to do so, even with the benefit of an agent for limited assistance, while leaving the door open to return to school and play next season.
Players can see not only if they might get drafted, but also benefit from receiving feedback about what NBA teams might think they need to work on to be more draftable in the future.
UNM and Jackson last month filled out the paperwork Jackson was required to submit to the NBA by 11:59 ET on Sunday (8:59 PT where Jackson has been living and training).
But, when the league’s list was distributed to media and NBA teams informing them which players can now be involved in workouts, Jackson’s was missing.
It’s not clear why, and Jackson has not said anything publicly himself. UNM is only saying it will continue to support Jackson through the process.
In a memo sent out March 13 by the NCAA to all Division I athletic directors, basketball coaches and senior compliance administrators, the NCAA stated that in order for a player to remain eligible and return to school, he must remove his name from the Draft and declare his intention to return to school in writing to his athletic director by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 29.
It remains unclear if that timetable changes now that Jackson is not on the NBA’s early-entry list.
SEE YOU SOON, GCU: The Journal has learned Grand Canyon University and the Lobos have agreed to a two-year, home-and-home series, which will start with a game in the Pit this coming season and a return game in Phoenix in the 2020-21 season.
UNM last played GCU as part of a home-and-home series in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, winning in the Pit in 2013 and losing at GCU in 2014.
GCU, coached by Dan Majerle, this week announced the hiring of assistant coach Marvin Menzies, the former UNLV coach who prior to that coached New Mexico State for nine seasons with UNM head coach Paul Weir as his assistant.
The Lobos had a 12-game non-conference schedule this past season, including seven home games (and one home exhibition game against Northern New Mexico).
The seven known games for UNM so far, include: two against NMSU (home and road), at UTEP, vs. GCU, vs. CSU-Northridge (the back end of a two-year home-and-home contract) and two games as part of the Legends Classic Nov. 25-26 in Brooklyn, N.Y., in a field that includes Auburn, Wisconsin and Richmond.
PORTAL NEWS: The NCAA transfer portal, the online database listing all college student athletes who are seeking a possible transfer to play at another school, still includes no Lobo men’s basketball players as of Wednesday, the Journal has learned.
It could actually lead to a problem for UNM as the coaching staff has recruited, and continues to do so, as though there will still be one or more players leave the program.
The NCAA allows a maximum of 13 scholarships for men’s basketball teams.
THEY’RE STILL IN: There were four Mountain West underclassmen whose names were on the NBA early-entry list as of Tuesday: Nico Carvacho, Colorado State forward/center; Jalen McDaniels, San Diego State forward; Joel Ntambwe, UNLV forward; and Neemias Queta, Utah State center.
CAMPING IN SANTA FE: The Lobos will be returning to Santa Fe for one of their summer camps in June.
The camp will be at Toby Roybal Gymnasium, named after the Lobo great, at Santa Fe High School on June 15-16 for kids in grades 1-8.
More information on the Santa Fe camp or the Albuquerque camps, which are June 3-8 at UNM, can be found online at CoachPaulWeir.com.