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Jalen Harris to stay in the 2020 NBA Draft, forgoing senior season at Nevada

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Nevada v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Well, it’s official.

Nevada guard Jalen Harris will officially stay in the 2020 NBA Draft and will forgo his senior season of eligibility, per his father. CBS Sports Insider Jon Rothstein was first with the news.

“I’m thankful for the entire Reno community and the Lawlor faithful for helping me to embrace the change and not fear it,” Harris said via a twitter post.

“Change. That one word that sums up my Nevada experience in so many ways. From the Obvious basketball and culture the subtle life and attitude changes along the way, I’ve been blessed to share them with my new extended family.

“I’m forever grateful to all of my teammates, coaches and administrators for their encouragement and patience as we navigated all of the change-ups together. also brings opportunity, and I am confident the last 2 years have adequately prepared me to adapt to my next chapter in what I pray will be a long, professional career. I will always carry a piece of Reno with me and cherish the memories made with each of you.”

Per ESPN, multiple teams have been asking for the draft, originally scheduled for June 25th, to be pushed back to August 1. No ruling has occurred yet. However, the NBA Draft Combine was postponed.

Harris ranks No. 85 on ESPN’s big board, No. 80 on The Athletic’s big board, No. 60 on Sports Illustrated’s big board and No. 70 on CBS Sports’ big board.

In his only season with Nevada, Harris, finishing second for the Mountain West Player of the Year award, led the conference in scoring at 21.7 points per game. He was second on the team with 6.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, shooting 44.6 percent from the floor and 36.2 percent from 3-point range.

The 6-foot-5 combo guard was one of three players nationally — and the only Mountain West player — to average at least 20 points, six rebounds and three assists per game.

Harris tallied double-digit scoring in his last 27 games, with 28 total on the year. He had 19 20-point games and six 30-point games — including a school-record four 30-point games. His best game came against Air Force, scoring a career-high 38-points on 12-of-21 shooting and went 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. His 38-point performance was the highest a Mountain West player scored all season.

He recorded a conference-best at 25.3 points per game in 18 conference games. His 456 total points in conference play is the second-most in Mountain West history, trailing only Jimmer Fredette’s 502 points in his Naismith-winning 2010-11 season.

Harris finished 15th among conference players in rebounding (5.9 rpg) in Mountain West play. He also finished seventh in assists (3.8 apg), fourth in field goal percentage (.492), third in 3-point percentage (.414), second in 3-pointers made per game (2.9), 10th in steals (1.3 spg) and eighth in assists/turnover ratio (1.39).

Prior to Nevada, Harris spent two seasons at Louisiana Tech. He averaged 12.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.9 steals per game in two years with the Bulldogs.

What’s next?

For the second consecutive season, Nevada will undergo a big transition in its starting five.

After not returning all five of their starters heading into the 2019-20 season, the Pack will be without four starters from last year’s team heading into next season.

Among Pack players who played last season, Zane Meeks will be the top returning scorer at 6.4 points per game. Meeks shot 43 percent and 36.4 percent from beyond as a redshirt freshman last season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 18 Nevada at San Diego State
Nevada Wolf Pack forward Zane Meeks (15) shoots a three point shot during a college basketball game between the Nevada Wolf Pack and the San Diego State Aztecs.
Photo by Justin Fine/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Desmond Cambridge, a transfer from Brown University who sat out last season due to NCAA’s transfer policy, will be Nevada’s top scorer heading into next year. In two seasons, he averaged 16.5 points, 4,2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, one steal and 1.4 blocks per game on 38.6 percent shooting from the floor and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc in 57 combined games.

As a freshman, Cambridge won the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Year award, earning second-team All-Ivy League honors. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 17.3 points per game on 40.1 percent shooting (33.5 percent from deep) — setting a Brown freshman record for total points in a single season (468).

Cambridge has two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2020-21.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 30 Brown at Northwestern
Brown Bears guard Desmond Cambridge (24) drives with the basketball past Northwestern Wildcats guard Anthony Gaines (11).
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nevada has one more scholarship spot to fill heading into next year. Here is a look at its current 2020-21 roster: