LSU sophomore forward Jordan Mickey and his father both said Tuesday night he has made no final decision about his future after a tweet earlier in the day indicated he was “leaning” toward applying for the NBA draft.
Mickey’s father, James Wright, said Tuesday in a phone interview with The Advocate that while they filed the paperwork to obtain an evaluation from the NBA, no decision has been made despite the tweet posted by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.
Mickey, a first-team All-Southeastern Conference pick after he led the league in rebounding and the nation in blocked shots, issued a statement through the LSU Sports Information Department later in the day regarding his future.
“With speculation that I may leave LSU for the NBA, or that I have already decided, that is not true,” Mickey said. “I have not made a decision one way or the other at this time. But with the help of my family and Coach (Johnny) Jones, I do plan to explore my options regarding my future plans.”
Mickey noted the deadline to apply for the draft is a month away (April 26), and that he is still in school and will use that time to decide.
Wright said he hadn’t seen the tweet until his wife called and told him about it.
“That’s not a true statement because we don’t know,” he said. “We don’t want Tiger Nation to think we’re out of here. We’re not leaning either way … we want all our teammates and fans to know that.”
Wright said Mickey and the family are taking things slowly, just as they did a year ago when his son asked the NBA for an evaluation.
“We going to weigh the options and see if it’s something that can benefit him,” Wright said. “Once we get something, some hard information, we can sit down and look at it as a family. Then you can base your decision off something you have.”
A tearful Mickey said after a 66-65 loss to North Carolina State in the NCAA tournament last Thursday night that he would talk with his family and consult with LSU coaches before making any decision on his future.
He led the league in rebounding with 9.9 per game and topped the nation with 3.6 blocked shots per game. He also averaged 15.4 points per game.
But Mickey’s numbers dipped over the final seven games when he was dealing with a bruised shoulder and injuries to both ankles.
“People probably didn’t know, but he wasn’t as explosive as he was earlier in the season,” Wright said. “Jordan kept quiet because he wanted to do what he could for the team. Both ankles were banged up, that’s why he couldn’t jump.”
Mickey is ranked by CBSSports.com as the 57th overall prospect should he apply for the draft, but is projected as an early second-round pick.
Wright said Mickey received a draftable grade from his NBA evaluation last spring, but chose to return for a second season to improve his stock. Doing that again this year is certainly an option, Wright said.
“Jordan loves his teammates and would like nothing more to continue to hang out with them,” he said. “At this point, he has to make a business decision. If he didn’t pursue the information, he would be doing an injustice to himself.
“If things come back and it’s in his favor to go to the NBA, we’ll be some of the most excited people on the face of this earth. If it doesn’t look good to go, we’ll be as equally as excited to go on this journey again next year and try to go farther than we went this year.”
Scout.com’s Evan Daniels reported Tuesday that LSU assistant Eric Musselman was one of three coaches who met with Nevada officials about its head coaching position.
Nevada coach David Carter was fired after the Wolf Pack lost to UNLV in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament earlier this month.
Also meeting with Nevada were former Auburn coach Tony Barbee and San Diego State coach Justin Hutson, but Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com reports Barbee removed his name from consideration.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.