Williams-Goss has until April 27 to decide whether to submit his application for entry into the NBA draft.
“It could be a real possibility based on his performance compared to the other players that have entered the draft and are being considered by the NBA,” Virgil said. “His numbers are better as a freshman. It’s definitely a serious consideration.”
Virgil said they are “waiting on a little more information before we make that final step” of deciding to declare. Wednesday was the deadline to submit an application to the NBA undergraduate advisory committee for an evaluation of where a player might be selected,
though Virgil said early yesterday that “we haven’t asked for one yet.”
“If he gets the feedback that is favorable, obviously we will pursue the NBA,” Virgil said. “That’s his ultimate goal, and I think we would pursue it only with a very educated amount of information, and if not, we’re definitely coming back to Washington and trying to improve the Huskies situation for next year.”
Five players recruited by Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar have declared for the NBA draft before exhausting their eligibility — Nate Robinson (2005), Spencer Hawes (2007), Isaiah Thomas (2011), Terrence Ross (2012) and Tony Wroten (2012). Each was drafted.
C.J. Wilcox considered entering the 2013 draft, but decided instead to return to school for his senior season.
The Huskies are already down one player who was expected to return next season, as fourth-year junior forward Desmond Simmons chose to transfer and play his final college season elsewhere.
Williams-Goss, a native of Happy Valley, Ore. who played high-school ball at national powerhouse Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., was UW’s second-leading scorer in 2013-14, averaging 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game as a freshman.
Virgil said he didn’t think the NBA would necessarily be an option after Nigel’s first college season, but that his statistics compare well enough to other draft prospects to believe he could be selected.
“I didn’t anticipate it,” Virgil said. “And my thing is, you’re only as good as your last game, so I never really put a ton of thought into it. But as the season progressed and it was over and everyone else’s season ended, compare him to the other top point guards in the country, he’s right there.”
Williams-Goss isn’t listed on recent NBA mock drafts, though DraftExpress.com, a website that specializes in NBA draft coverage, ranked him as the No. 23 freshman prospect in the NCAA in a list updated Feb. 11.
Neither DraftExpress nor NBADraft.net, two of the premier draft-centric outlets, ranks Williams-Goss in their lists of the top 100 draft prospects.
The NBA draft will be held June 26. Wilcox, the No. 2 scorer in UW history, is projected as an early second-round pick.
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