Troy Gillenwater won’t return to NMSU

The name Troy Gillenwater wasn’t on the NCAA’s early-entry withdrawal list that was released May 11.

The name of New Mexico State’s leading scorer was, however, on the NBA’s official withdrawal list that was issued by the league Tuesday.

But fear not, NCAA, you won’t have to deal with a suspension for Gillenwater, as was the case last year with Mississippi State’s Dee Bost. Bost was the first casualty of the NCAA’s rule because he supposedly was unaware of the new May date. That mental lapse (combined with being ineligible for the fall semester) cost Bost the first 14 games of the season.

Gillenwater may have been looking at a similar suspension, but instead he signed with agent Scott Nichols after the May 8 deadline.

“He can’t go back to New Mexico State. I’m representing him,” said Nichols, a Los Angeles-based agent who also represents San Diego State’s D.J. Gay and former Maryland player D.J. Strawberry. Nichols has done marketing for Memphis Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez.

“Schoolwise, he wouldn’t have qualified academically,” Nichols said. “It didn’t go well for him.”

Nichols said Gillenwater is looking at the NBA Developmental League or overseas for the immediate future. But Nichols had to get a clear understanding that Gillenwater could still re-enter the NBA draft in 2012 even after withdrawing his name this year. He can and he will. Gillenwater, a 6-foot-8 junior from Boston, led the Aggies with 18.9 ppg and 6.3 rpg last season, but was a long shot to get drafted this month anyway.

NMSU coach Marvin Menzies said he knew Gillenwater was withdrawing from the draft, but never planned on his rejoining the team. Since he can’t anyway now that he has an agent, there’s no reason to fret about the situation.

But Gillenwater’s move is a precursor to what may occur next year when the NCAA pushes the early-entry withdrawal deadline to April 10. There will likely be some players who make a quick decision to go into the draft, and then once they determine that they’re not going to be selected, will attempt to withdraw by the NBA’s deadline (10 days prior to the draft).

If that occurs, the players — assuming they haven’t signed with an agent — will have the option of seeing if the NCAA penalizes them with a suspension.

Nichols said he was hopeful the NCAA and NBA would come up with the same withdrawal date. They once did — two years ago. Then the NCAA took matters into its own hands and pushed the withdrawal deadline to May this year and April next year. The NBA can alter its withdrawal date in the negotiated collective bargaining agreement, but that is hardly a front-burner issue. The NBA will likely keep its current date of 10 days prior to the draft because of the need for international players to make an informed decision.

So that leaves the NCAA off on its own and might lead to more players deciding, like Gillenwater, to withdraw from the draft on their own schedule and see what their options are once that decision is made. Gillenwater signed with Nichols, so he is done as an amateur. But he can still re-enter the draft. He gave himself at least a chance to one day be drafted by taking the time to discover through the lack of interest that he wasn’t ready for the draft.

Source: Andy Katz Blog, ESPN