St. John’s basketball sophomore forward Julian Champagnie is testing the NBA Draft waters.
The expected decision has become official as St. John’s basketball star sophomore Julian Champagnie will test the 2021 NBA Draft waters.
Champagnie and the Red Storm released a joint statement on Thursday afternoon.
“After long thought and multiple discussions with our coaching staff and my family, I have decided that it would be in my best interest to test the NBA Draft process. The feedback that I will gain during this process will be very helpful in making my decision on returning to St. John’s for my junior season,” Champagnie said.
The sophomore was named to the All-Big East First Team and was named as the conference’s Most Improved Player after averaging 19.8 points and 7.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 1.4 steals per game on 43.3-percent shooting from the floor and 38.0-percent from three-point range.
“I really look forward to having this opportunity and developing into a better player either for St. John’s or in the National Basketball Association. Playing at the next level has always been a dream of mine, so I am fully committed to getting better on and off the court each day,” Champagnie added.
St. John’s basketball has not had a player selected in the NBA Draft since Sir’Dominic Pointer was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 53 overall pick in 2015.
The Johnnies have not had a first round pick since Moe Harkless was drafted with the No. 15 overall pick in 2012 by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Recently the Red Storm have seen two players, Shamorie Ponds and Justin Simon, forego their remaining years of colligate eligibility but neither was drafted nor are they currently in the NBA G-League.
Julian Champagnie’s brother, Justin Champagnie, also announced he would test the NBA Draft waters this week.
Justin Champagnie was a First Team All-ACC player at Pittsburgh this season.
St. John’s and Pittsburgh are scheduled to play each other next season at Madison Square Garden.
“I think this is without question the right move for Julian [Champagnie] at this point in his career. He’ll gain tremendous insight on what he needs to work on to become a threat at the next level, whether that’s next year or in the future,” head coach Mike Anderson said.
“Julian has our unwavering support as he begins this exciting next step on his basketball journey.”
What happens next for St. John’s basketball?
Things remain unchanged in Queens as Julian Champagnie made his announcement official.
St. John’s still has three open scholarships with Isaih Moore, Vince Cole, and Josh Roberts entering the transfer portal and the program will still be very aggressive on the transfer market.
Should Champagnie make the decision to leave Queens that number would jump to four, but he’s still under scholarship at St. John’s for the time being.
The 6-foot-8, 220 pound forward will now have the chance to talk to NBA teams and scouts and receive feedback on where they think he would be selected in this year’s draft and what areas of his game needs to improve in order to be selected higher if he wishes to return to school.
Julian Champagnie is not listed on ESPN’s Top-100 Big Board but Justin Champagnie is ranked as the No. 55 player and No. 11 small forward.
There is currently no date scheduled for the 2021 NBA Draft as the 2020 NBA Draft was pushed back to mid-November because of the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of workouts and meetings players could attend.
That is not expected to be the case this year but a typical mid-June draft is also unlikely.
The latest Game 7 of the NBA Finals could be is July 22, so perhaps the NBA would schedule its draft for the last week of July or the first week of August, meaning Champagnie would have a longer timetable to make a final decision.
Like the NBA Draft, there is also no official date for the NBA Draft Combine, which is typically held in mid-May.
If Julian Champagnie returns to St. John’s, he would be a favorite for Preseason Big East Player of the Year and the Johnnies could be a Top-3 team in the conference.
St. John’s finished its 2019-20 season with a record of 16-11 (10-9 Big East).