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Texas F Jericho Sims among early-entry candidates for the 2021 NBA Draft

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Sims will have a chance to communicate with and work out for NBA organizations before making a final decision about his future.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Abilene Christian at Texas Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The news that Texas Longhorns senior forward Jericho Sims entered his name into the 2021 NBA Draft came in typical Sims fashion — without a press release and without a tweet, just his inclusion among the 104 college seniors who filed as early-entry candidates for the draft.

The 6’10, 245-pounder will now have a chance to communicate with and work out for NBA organizations, but still has the option to return to school since he has not signed with an agent, a Texas spokesperson confirmed to Inside Texas. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is July 19.

Sims came to Texas as part of the 2017 recruiting class for former head coach Shaka Smart, appearing in 34 games with 11 starts and averaging 5.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game while finishing second on the team in blocks (18).

After primarily serving as Mo Bamba’s backup that season, Sims had the opportunity to emerge as the full-time starter in 2018-19 with Bamba off to the NBA, but Sims battled injuries and struggled to perform consistently, eventually losing the starting job to freshman Jaxson Hayes. With Hayes quickly emerging as another one-and-done lottery pick, Sims averaged 4.2 points per game and 3.6 points per game, playing well when Hayes missed the NIT after suffering a knee injury.

As a junior, Sims finally started to play to his potential more often, starting all 24 games, shooting 65.8 percent from the field, and leading the team in rebounding at 8.2 per game. Sims also scored 9.7 points per game in becoming an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection.

Sims wasn’t quite able to match those numbers as a senior, scoring 9.2 points per game and averaging 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 69.2 percent, No. 16 nationally. In Big 12 play, Sims shot 75.3 percent, the best mark in the conference, while emerging as one of the league’s most versatile defenders with his ability to defend anyone on the court.

Now he’ll be able to receive feedback about his professional future as the Longhorns and new head coach Chris Beard continue to pursue graduate transfers will finalize the frontcourt in case Sims opts against returning for a fifth season of college basketball.