NEWARK, NJ – Seton Hall Pirates junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili will be declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft, and test the waters without hiring an agent, reported to NJ advanced media on Friday afternoon.
“It’s a great opportunity to see where he is at and where we go from here,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard told NJ Advance Media. “The draft process now helps kids make educated decisions and we are looking forward to going through the process with him.” Mentoring Mamu, is former NBA center, and fellow Georgian, Zaza Pachulia.
During the shortened 2019-20 campaign, the Georgian native broke his wrist on December 8 at Iowa State, that would subsequently keep him out for an extended period of time. Mamukaleshvili would return against DePaul on January 29 after missing nearly two months with the respective injury. In the final 12 games of the season upon his return, the 6-11 big man would average 12.6 points-per-game.
The 2020 NBA Draft is expected to take place on Thursday, June 25 inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The event could be pushed back or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finishing the season as the team’s second leading scorer in 20 games played averaging 11.9 points-per-game, Mamukelashvili would also be second on the team in rebounds, grabbing an average of 6.0 per-game.
Losing seniors Quincy McKnight, Romaro Gill, and most notably, Associated Press’ First Team All-American, Myles Powell are hard enough. If the Pirates lose Mamukelashvili to the draft, who is set to take over as the unofficial “leader” of the team, where do head coach Kevin Willard and the Seton Hall Pirates turn to. Looking for their sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament (yes, they were going to make it this season, if it wasn’t cancelled), who would be the contested leader in South Orange?