Update, 12:15 p.m., Monday:
Johnny Jones on Monday confirmed to The Advocate that junior guard Tim Quarterman has withdrawn from school, is declaring for the NBA draft and will sign with an agent. Jones said Quarterman will train before the draft in Cleveland.
In his postseason news conference March 15, LSU men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones said he expected junior guard Tim Quarterman would give strong consideration to entering the NBA draft.
Like freshman forward Ben Simmons, who declared for the draft a week ago and hired an agent just three days later, Quarterman didn’t take long to make his decision.
Yahoo Sports, citing league sources, reported Sunday night that Quarterman, a 6-foot-6 point guard, will sign with an agent Monday. That would end his college career since players who sign with representation give up any remaining college eligibility.
Players who declare for the draft before the April 24 deadline are allowed to test the waters and get feedback from an NBA advisory committee about their chances of being drafted. If they don’t sign with an agent by May 25, they can remove their name and regain eligibility.
But Jones said in mid-March he believed that Quarterman, a native of Savannah, Georgia, would be all-in for a shot at professional basketball.
Quarterman was listed as a potential first-round pick by NBADraft.net just after the draft last June following a breakout sophomore season. He improved nine points from his freshman season in averaging 11.5 points and 5.2 rebounds and added a team-leading 4.0 assists while starting 14 of 33 games.
But Quarterman struggled at times this season and averaged 11.2 points and 4.6 rebounds while starting 27 of 33 games. He finished with 3.6 assists per game, while Simmons led the team at 4.8 an outing.
LSU finished 19-14 and failed to make the NCAA tournament field, then declined to be considered for any other postseason event.
“He thinks he has an opportunity to go play professionally and would possibly put himself in a position that he’ll go all-in,” Jones said after the season ended. “He’s not going halfway and trying to test the waters. He’s out in the middle of it, and that’s something that I think he’s been looking forward to trying to explore for himself.”
Yahoo Sports draft insider Jonathan Givony has Quarterman, who tied his career high with 27 points in a 105-98 loss to Houston on Dec. 13, ranked as the No. 7 junior among players who might be thinking about entering the draft.
For his career, Quarterman played in 99 games with 44 starts. He averaged 8.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists while shooting 41.5 percent — including 34.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Fellow guard Antonio Blakeney, a freshman, could be another LSU player who explores his professional opportunities in the coming days and weeks.
Jones said Blakeney, who averaged 12.6 points after scoring in double digits in 14 of the last 18 games (with six games of at least 20 points), also will have to make some decisions down the road.
“But that’s not something he’s concentrating or focusing on right now,” Jones said in mid-March.