Freshman phenom Tyrell Terry declares for NBA draft

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Tyrell Terry, a freshman guard for men’s basketball, officially announced his decision to declare for the 2020 NBA draft on Monday morning, confirming the suspicions of many basketball fans following a season of numerous attention-grabbing performances by the 6’2″ guard. If drafted, Terry would be the second Stanford player in two years to enter the NBA after then-sophomore forward Kezie “KZ” Okpala joined the league as the 32nd overall pick last June.

“I have decided to chase a childhood dream and declare for the 2020 NBA draft,” Terry wrote in a post on his personal Instagram account. “I am confident in my abilities to play at the highest level and look forward to giving it 100% at each step throughout this process.”

With 27 double-digit offensive showings, Terry hovered near the top of Cardinal scoring from the night of his collegiate debut; during the Nov. 6 season-opener against Montana, the freshman tallied 13 points. Quickly disproving any reservations about his small stature, Terry posted more than 10 points during each of the first eight games of his freshman campaign and averaged 16.5 points during the stretch. He finished the season averaging 4.5 rebounds and 14.6 points per contest — the latter being the second-highest by a Stanford freshman in program history.

For the Cardinal, Terry reigned supreme from the foul line, pacing the conference with a 89.1% success rate from the charity stripe. He also recorded impressive success rates in play. The guard hit 44.1% of his shots from the field and 40.8% from behind the arc. 

Though Terry’s size initially drew skepticism about his ability to thrive in NCAA play, his quickness and his ability to navigate through the opposing defense and drive to the basket has earned him warranted attention. He was one of five first-year players to be awarded both All-Freshman and All-Pac-12 honors and Stanford’s first player to receive both honors in one season in 13 years; Brook Lopez was the last to do so, in 2007. 

Terry is the first Stanford player to earn both All-Freshman and all-conference honors since Brook Lopez in 2007. (Photo: BOB DREBIN/isiphotos.com)

If picked, Terry will become the 41st Cardinal draftee in program history. Stanford has had 12 student-athletes picked in the first round, Josh Huestis being the most recent. Huestis was drafted to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014. 

“We are excited for Ty and fully support his decision to explore the NBA Draft process,” said men’s basketball head coach Jerod Haase of the freshman’s announcement. “He is currently leaving all options on the table and will be keeping his eligibility.”

Per NCAA rules, Terry may retain his collegiate eligibility as long as he withdraws from the draft by June 3, 2020. According to ESPN, that date may change as the league responds to the evolving coronavirus pandemic and adjusts plans for the 2020 NBA draft as needed.

Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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