Dayton’s Holmes enters name in NBA draft while maintaining college eligibility

Sophomore forward has until May 31 to decide whether to stay in draft

Dayton Flyers forward DaRon Holmes II made no official public announcement about his intentions but confirmed Monday he declared for the NBA Draft. He said he will maintain his college eligibility while exploring the draft process.

Players had until 11:59 p.m. Sunday to declare for the draft. The early entry withdrawal deadline for underclassmen who wish to maintain their collegiate eligibility is 11:59 p.m. on May 31.

As of Monday afternoon, the NBA had not released its official list of underclassmen who had declared for the draft.

Meanwhile, Dayton forward Toumani Camara made his decision to turn pro official in a letter to Flyer Nation posted to Twitter on Monday.

Camara, a 6-foot-8 forward from Brussels, Belgium, boosted his draft prospects with his play in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament earlier this month. He averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds in three games and made the all-tournament team.

Camara averaged 13.9 points and 8.6 rebounds in his second season at Dayton. He made the All-Atlantic 10 Conference first team and the all-defensive team.

Holmes, a 6-foot-10 sophomore forward from Goodyear, Ariz., has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Camara has played four seasons of college basketball — two at Georgia and two at Dayton — but has one more season of eligibility. The 2020-21 season didn’t count against anyone’s eligibility because of the pandemic.

Jonathan Wasserman, of Bleacher Report, predicted Holmes will be drafted at No. 47 in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Coming off a 28-point, 16-rebound, five-block line in a season-ending loss to VCU,” Wasserman wrote, “Holmes will presumably move on to the draft process and try to sell teams with measurements, athletic testing and improved skill during workouts.”

Sam Vecenie, of The Athletic, predicted Holmes would be picked 55th by the Grizzlies. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony did not include Holmes in his latest mock draft.

Holmes lived up to the hype in his freshman season. He was Dayton’s highest-ranked recruit this century and became the first true freshman in school history to lead the Flyers in scoring (12.8 points per game). He set the school record for blocks by a freshman in January and finished with 81.

Holmes joined Obi Toppin on the short list — two players long — of Flyers who have won the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year award and made the All-A-10 second team.

As a sophomore, Holmes averaged 18.4 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game and made the A-10 first team and all-defensive team. He ranked second in the country with 89 dunks.

Several Flyers have tested the NBA Draft waters in recent years and returned to school: Camara in 2022; Jalen Crutcher and Ibi Watson in 2020; Obi Toppin in 2019; and Charles Cooke in 2016.

Toppin was a first-round pick (No. 8 overall) of the New York Knicks in 2020.

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