Morgantown, West Virginia – Last night, Bob Huggins slipped up and said that “we have four players looking at the NBA right now.” Miles “Deuce” McBride, Sean McNeil and Taz Sherman have already announced their intentions to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft with the possibility of returning to school next season.
Derek Culver is presumably the fourth player that Huggins is referencing…unless, of course, Spencer Macke is going to test the waters and receive his professional evaluation.
Culver has been completely silent since West Virginia lost to Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament. In that game, Culver scored 7 points on 2-9 from the field and added 3 rebounds in 21 minutes of play.
While Culver was a first team Big 12 Conference player this season, averaging 14.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, his weaknesses and flaws were really exposed late in the season against big, physical opponents.
Culver is unlikely to improve his draft stock by returning another year and in fact he could hurt his chances of playing professionally by either getting hurt or not equaling his previous season’s statistics.
With that said, Culver should enter the NBA Draft this season. He will not be drafted but could impress teams during workouts and perhaps earn a spot in the NBA G League. At 6’10 and 255 pounds, Culver has the size and strength to compete at the next level, but his defensive effort and perimeter game need major work.
Riding his Big 12 first team accomplishment and his extremely impressive statistics from last season, Culver will certainly get looks from NBA scouts and executives. While it’s difficult to lose a player with his experience and productivity, leaving now is what’s best for Derek Culver.