Ohio State's E.J. Liddell, Duane Washington Jr. on official NBA draft early-entry list

Adam Jardy
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes forward E.J. Liddell (32) celebrates a three pointer with guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) during the second half of the men's basketball game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Value City Arena in Columbus on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Purdue won 67-65.

Duane Washington Jr. and E.J. Liddell, Ohio State's two leading scorers from last season, are on the official early-entry list for the NBA draft.

They are the only Buckeyes among the 353 players, a number that includes 57 international prospects, to be included. Both Liddell and Washington have retained their eligibility while going through the process and could still return to Ohio State for the 2021-22 season.

The list was released early Wednesday morning and does not bind players to a professional career. College players have until July 7 to withdraw from the draft process and maintain their eligibility. The next development to watch will be the list of players invited to participate in the NBA draft combine, which will take place June 21-27.

Both Liddell and Washington have spent time working out in their respective hometowns as well as in Los Angeles. Liddell's father, Eric, told The Dispatch in early May that eight teams had expressed interest in hosting E.J. for workouts.

Neither player appears on any major mock draft at this point. NBA draft analyst Chad Ford, who publishes his own "Big Board" projections, included Liddell in his list revised this morning as a player with the potential to be picked.

According to Ford, Liddell is projected as a potential second-rounder whose draft potential stretches from the No. 40 pick to going undrafted. Washington is listed under "likely undrafted."

In late April, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said he remained in regular conversation with both players and that he was supporting them and their families however possible as they gathered whatever information they needed to make decisions.

"I think they’ll make a decision that they feel is best for them and I’m going to support them along the way," Holtmann said.

ajardy@dispatch.com

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