University of Alabama forward John Petty announced Monday that he would withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to the Crimson Tide for the 2020-21 basketball season.
Petty, whose decision gives Alabama a full roster for next season, announced his decision via social media. He has spent the week in Tuscaloosa working out with coaches and teammates before returning to his hometown of Huntsville to discuss his final decision.
“It’s great to have John back for his senior year,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “He is certainly one of the best, if not the best, shooters in the country which is extremely important to us with how we play. He’s made it clear that it’s his goal to become a first round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and we’re going to work with him to make sure he’s in the best position to reach that goal.”
Petty was originally scheduled to make a decision in June but concerns over the coronavirus epidemic by both the NBA and NCAA delayed the process.
“I’ve done 12 Zoom interviews already,” Petty said when the June deadline was extended. “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.”
The injury came in Alabama’s road loss at Mississippi State in February. Petty returned in March but his effectiveness was limited. Alabama’s season ended just hours before the Crimson Tide was scheduled to play Tennessee in the SEC Tournament.
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.
His return gives Alabama a full NCAA roster of 13 players for the upcoming season, including six newcomers and redshirt transfer Jahvon Quinerly, a McDonald’s All-American who played one season at Villanova before sitting out last season. All of the Crimson Tide’s players have participated in at least some of the NCAA-approved preseason practices except 6-foot-11 forward Alex Tchikou, who is completing on-campus academic work at his Arizona prep school.
Last season’s point guard, Kira Lewis, remained in the NBA draft pool after a stellar sophomore season and is currently projected as a first-round choice. Four other players from last season, Nate Oats’ first at Alabama, departed via the transfer portal.
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