Jerome Declares For NBA Draft

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Ty Jerome, UVA’s leading scorer against Louisville, participates in post-game net-cutting.

As expected, Virginia junior point guard Ty Jerome announced today that he will forgo his final season of eligibility with the Cavaliers and enter his name into the NBA draft. Jerome also said he will sign with an agent.

The New Rochelle, N.Y., native and a product of Iona Prep, is the first of the National Championship Cavaliers to announce the early entry into the professional ranks, but is not expected to be the last. Redshirt sophomore teammate De’Andre Hunter, a Philadelphia native, is also expected to announce his intentions to turn professional. Hunter is a projected lottery pick.

What remains in question is what junior guard Kyle Guy, “Most Outstanding Player” of the Final Four, might do. Will he jump to the NBA or return for a final season under Coach Tony Bennett?

Bennett said after Saturday’s national championship celebration that decisions will be made after all the information is gathered, meaning that players can ask for an evaluation of their chances of being drafted via a panel of NBA experts. Bennett has also been known to reach out to contacts in the NBA about a player’s potential chances.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft is April 21. Due to a new NCAA rule, players who do elect to declare early have until May 29 to withdraw from the draft and retain their college eligibility.

The new rule also allows players, such as Jerome, to hire an agent without forfeiting their college eligibility. In the past, any player hiring an agent could not return to college.

Jerome is the 94th college underclassman to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft, which will be held June 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Jerome finished UVA’s championship season with a 13.6 scoring average per game and posted 1,011 points in three seasons. He also finished third on the Cavaliers’ single-season assists list with 202.

Some NBA draft projections have the Cavalier guard going between No. 20 and No. 33, with CBS college basketball analyst Gary Parrish predicting a No. 24 selection by Denver.

The New Yorker is a tough (both physically and mentally) player that can play point or shooting guard. At 6-foot-5, he has the size. He also isn’t afraid of the big moment, often taking NBA-length 3-pointers (or beyond NBA range, i.e. at Syracuse late in the season). Jerome shot 43 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Jerome thanked Bennett and the entire staff of coaches, trainers, and fans upon his announcement via Instagram (See and listen to the entire announcement below), before saying, “I will forever be a Wahoo. Love UVA from the bottom of my heart.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

The last three years at Virginia have been everything I could have dreamed of in a college experience. When Coach Bennett recruited me he said he would never stop challenging me to improve, on and off the court – and he meant it. He did that every single day, and he made me a better basketball player and better man. I am eternally grateful to him and the entire coaching staff, and fans. I also want to give a special thank you to our strength coach, coach Curtis and our athletic trainer, Ethan Saliba; the best in the business! I came to Virginia to win a national championship and to be able to do that with my brothers is a dream come true. And to the best fans in college basketball – we would not have done it without you. Last but certainly not least, I want to thank my mom, dad, brother and entire family. The time, effort and love they have given me is truly a gift, and I would not have had this opportunity without them. I have had a ball in my hand basically since the day I was born. My dream has always been to play in the NBA. Therefore, after speaking with my family and coaches and giving it a lot of thought, I know it’s the right time to announce that I will be entering the NBA draft and signing with an agent. I will forever be a wahoo🧡 UVA, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

A post shared by Ty Jerome (@tyjerome_) on



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