Duane Washington Jr. to stay in NBA draft instead of returning to Ohio State

Bill Rabinowitz
The Columbus Dispatch
Duane Washington Jr., seen here dunking against Purdue, will stay in the NBA draft and not return to Ohio State.

Ohio State guard Duane Washington Jr. will stay in the NBA draft and not return to the Buckeyes men's basketball team, an OSU source confirmed Tuesday.

Washington's decision was first reported by Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

Washington earned a call-up to the NBA draft combine last week with his performance in the G-League Elite Camp, which included a game-high 18 points in the second of the camp's two games, during which he shot 7-for-13 from the field.

Washington averaged 16.4 points per game as an Ohio State junior. He also had 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

A streaky shooter, Washington carried the Buckeyes at times. He scored 30 points in a memorable 92-87 loss to Michigan in February and 24 in a Big Ten conference tournament victory over the Wolverines. Washington then scored 32 points in OSU’s 91-88 loss to Illinois in the conference tournament championship. But he made only 7 of 21 shots in No. 2-seeded OSU’s first-round NCAA Tournament upset loss to 15th-seeded Oral Roberts.

Washington was a three-star recruit from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who improved each year as a Buckeye. He started two games as a freshman, averaging 7.0 points per game. As a sophomore, Washington started 15 games and averaged 11.5 points. 

He is considered a possible second-round draft choice.

Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell is also testing the NBA draft waters. He has not announced a decision about whether he will return to the Buckeyes.

If both players had returned, Ohio State would likely have been projected as a top-10 team next season.

Brabinowitz@dispatch.com

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