John Petty’s decision-making process is moving by small steps in some areas and larger leaps and bounds in others as the University of Alabama basketball standout and one of the SEC’s best 3-point shooters ponders on whether to keep his name in the NBA Draft eligibility pool or withdraw by June and return to the Crimson Tide for his senior season.
Petty will have some extra time to decide as the NCAA voted on Wednesday to postpone its June 3 deadline for players to withdraw from the draft. The decision was made due to disruption in the NBA draft process due to the coronavirus. No new deadline has been set at this time. The delay could give Petty and other early entants the opportunity to hold in-person workouts for NBA teams, but no details are available at this time.
On Monday, Petty, who is staying with family in his hometown of Huntsville, was able to return to an actual public gymnasium for the first time in two months. A gradual reopening of certain facilities as part of a relaxation of some of the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic have Petty shooting again.
“Some of the gyms are still pretty strict on social distancing but I’ve got a couple of buddies who are helping me, rebounding or passing back to me on my shots,” Petty said. “Then there are a couple of other places we can go where it’s not quite so strict, you know, but we are still being careful.
“Before that, I was having to play ball outside, like back in the old days. The weather’s been good for us, but it’s been wet sometimes and cold sometimes. But you keep working anyway you can.”
Where things are moving more quickly, Petty said in a telephone interview, are in his contacts with other teams.
“I’ve done 12 Zoom interviews already,” Petty said. “I don’t want to say any specific teams but I’ve gotten some great feedback. They have been impressed. We’ve talked about my elbow (a hyperextending which knocked him out of two games late late season.) It has perfectly healed, no problem.
“My process now is to keep working out, be patient, talk to scouts and hopefully get a great answer from them (about a potential draft position.)
“If that happens, I’m probably going to stay in. … I will have a decision but I’m going to be patient.”
Petty led the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (44.0 percent, 85-of-193) and ranked second in threes made per game (2.9), while ranking ninth and 28th nationally in the categories, respectively, in 2020.
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