For a second consecutive year, Rutgers star Corey Sanders has declared for the NBA Draft. However, he will also not sign with an agent, leaving open the possibility of his return to the program. He made this declaration on his instagram page, which was then retweeted from his personal twitter account:
For all y'all who asking. Grind time #NotAYearToBeRegular pic.twitter.com/KAqn3Coi6l— WM (@WhiteMike1K) March 23, 2017
The Rutgers men’s basketball program just sent a press release on Sanders’ announcement and here is the statement from head coach Steve Pikiell:
“We support Corey’s choice to enter his name into consideration for the draft,” said Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell. “The evaluation process will provide valuable information. It is in everyone’s best interest that he makes a thorough and informed decision about his future.”
Corey made this statement in the same press release:
“I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for their support,” said Sanders. “My dream has always been to play in the NBA. I look forward to determining where I am in that journey, so that I put myself in the best position to get there.”
The NBA hold workouts for players eligible to be invited to the NBA Draft Combine, May 9-14, which is held in Chicago. Sanders will have up to 10 days after the combine to stay in the draft or to decide to return to school. This is only the case if players do not sign with an agent, which Sanders hasn’t. By participating in the workouts, Sanders will receive feedback from NBA personnel on his game and grade his likelihood of getting drafted.
Corey earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors from both the media and coaches this past season. He averaged 12.8 points, 3.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 steals during his sophomore campaign. Sanders needs just 147 more points in his career to reach the 1,000 point plateau.
While it’s obviously possible that Sanders will decide to stay in the draft pool of eligible players, a key factor is him leaving the possibility open to return by not signing with an agent. After the loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament, Sanders had this to say at the podium in the postgame press conference:
“You know, just how hard we worked, how far we came. I think we did a lot of big things this year for Rutgers basketball. That was the goal. We’re going to keep striving for that goal, move on and just keep progressing like I think we did this year. I know a lot of people have seen that. That’s the goal, just keep progressing.”
Afterwards in the locker room, I asked Sanders to reflect on the season that just ended and what his future goals were:
“I feel like we had a good season. We doubled our wins. In the Big Ten, we competed every night and played hard. I’m just looking forward to another year to grow and fight with my brothers.”
“I still have to grow a lot. I want to become more of a floor general. I want to get way better on offense and defense. I just want to improve my overall game. That’s going to be my main focus.”
So the waiting game on whether Sanders will return begins again, and we will know before Memorial Day whether the talented guard will be back in Scarlet next season. Whatever Sanders decides, he has had a very good two seasons on the banks and we wish him the best. Of course, we are rooting for another season of cheering on #3.