Sunday, September 24 2023

A pair of guards from Arkansas basketball’s 2022-23 squad have received invites to workout for two NBA teams.

Wichita State transfer guard Ricky Council IV will participate in the Indiana Pacers’ second pre-draft workout Tuesday, the team announced Monday. Guard Davonte “Devo” Davis was reported to have a workout with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Nick Wegner, and Davis’ Instagram story shows that he was in Milwaukee on Monday.

Council’s lone season in Fayetteville did wonders for his draft stock, as he led the team with 16.1 points per game and his 173 made free throws were good for first in the SEC. He was an AP All-SEC second team selection and he scored 20-plus points on 11 occasions.

Following his big junior season in Fayetteville, Council received an invite to the NBA Draft Combine from May 15-18. His highlights included a 37.0″ max vertical leap (t-13th of 57) and a 3.12-second shuttle run (8th of 19).

Council also participated in two scrimmages with his best outing being a 9-point performance in which he also added one assist and he had a +/- of +3.

“Ricky is a guy that he’s one of the best athletes in the draft,” Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman said May 17. “He can really, really score the basketball. He’s a very good defender. A guy that can really draw free throws. And his game goes to a whole other level when you can get him in isolation situations or if you can get out in transition. He’s an incredible finisher on the break.”

Council also participated at Young Money APAA’s Pro Day on May 18. Well-known artist Lil Wayne is the CEO of Young Money Entertainment and YMAPAA is an agency and marketing service for professional athletes.

Recent mock drafts have Council commonly being projected as a second round draft pick, though some still have him as a late first rounder. ESPN mocked Council 42nd overall to the Charlotte Hornets, NBC Sports had him going 29th overall to the Indiana Pacers and NBADraft.Net has Council going 46th overall to the Atlanta Hawks.

While Council did not maintain his college eligibility when entering the draft, Davis did. As an underclassman, the native of Jacksonville has until 10:59 p.m. CT Wednesday to withdraw from the draft process and maintain college eligibility.

Davis did not receive and invite to the NBA Draft Combine, but he did everything he could to grow his professional stock during the 2022-23 season.

An SEC All-Defensive team selection, Davis had a team-best 3-point percentage of 34.6% among those who regularly played. Across his final 24 games of the year, Davis averaged 12.5 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 44.1.% from the field and 38.5% from three.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard proved once again that he is best when the lights are the brightest with his performances against Illinois and Kansas in the NCAA Tournament.

Davis recorded 16 points, six rebounds and four steals during the first round win over the Illini. Arkansas’ upset over 1-seed Kansas wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Davis’ 25-point performance. He scored 21 points in the second have — 11 of which came during an 18-5 run that erased a 12-point deficit.

Getting drafted within the two rounds of the NBA Draft is unlikely for Davis, but he could earn himself a two-way contract as many talented college basketball players do each year. The two-way contract allows developing players to be rostered on an NBA team and its G League affiliate at the same time. Each NBA team can have two players on this type of contract, according to the G League.

The 2023 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 22, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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