Robert Woodard II

Mississippi State guard Robert Woodard decided to keep his name in the NBA Draft pool.

STARKVILLE Mississippi State’s Robert Woodard has decided to remain in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports first reported Woodard’s decision early Monday afternoon. Woodard made it official with a post on his Instagram account.

“As you know, I entered the NBA Draft with the option of maintaining my eligibility. After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to remain in the 2020 NBA Draft,” Woodard wrote. “The Bulldog experience will forever run deep in my heart.”

The deadline for making a final decision on staying in the draft pool was at 4 p.m. Central on Monday.

The coronavirus-delayed draft, originally scheduled for June 25, is now set for Oct. 16.

Woodard, a 6-foot-7 guard out of Columbus, played in 65 games over two years for the Bulldogs and made 32 starts.

He averaged just 5.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2018-19, then made a huge jump as a sophomore.

Woodard averaged 11.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 1 blocked shot per game last season.

Woodard was one of only three men’s players in a Power Five conference to average 10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot per game. His 6.5 rebounds ranked 12th in the SEC.

He’s been ranked as high as the No. 25 draft prospect and is projected to be a late first-round to early second-round pick.

Woodard joins teammates Reggie Perry and Nick Weatherspoon in the draft pool. Perry, a 6-10 forward out of Thomasville, Georgia, is projected as a late first-round pick.

Perry, MSU’s leading scorer last season, was named the 2019-20 Co-SEC Player of the Year after he averaged 17.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He announced his intentions to enter the draft in late March.

The 6-2 Weatherspoon, from Canton, started 80 of 81 career games for the Bulldogs, averaging 10.7 points per game. He announced his decision to turn pro in April.

With Woodard’s final decision, MSU has lost all four of its top scorers from last season – senior guard Tyson Carter (13.9 pig) has signed professionally to play in Greece.

Among notable announcements at other schools on Monday, Alabama guard John Petty Jr. said he will return to the Crimson Tide for next season. The former five-star prospect averaged 14.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists last year.

Twitter: @DLMiddleton8

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