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Eric Hunter Jr. Declares for NBA Draft

Very interesting.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Purdue vs Texas Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue’s three seniors in Trevion Williams, Sasha Stefanovic, and Eric Hunter Jr. all had an option to return for the 2022-23 season due to the COVID exemptions because of last year. Tre and Sasha have already made formal announcements confirming what we thought previously before the season: that they would be pursuing professional opportunities and forgoing that bonus year.

Today, Hunter did as well, only his was extremely interesting:

“...while still maintaining my college eligibility.”

I have to admit that Hunter’s chances in the NBA are probably small, but there is no harm in going through the evaluation process. At worst, he can play for a few seasons in Europe, and there is no shame in that. But...

“...while still maintaining my college eligibility.”

It seems that door is open just a crack for next season, and Purdue could use a steady hand in its backcourt with Isaiah Thompson transferring and Jaden Ivey headed to the NBA. As of right now there are two open scholarships, too:

Purdue Basketball Scholarship Grid

Player ('22-'23) ('23-'24) ('24-'25) ('25-'26) ('26-'27) ('27-'28)
Player ('22-'23) ('23-'24) ('24-'25) ('25-'26) ('26-'27) ('27-'28)
David Jenkins Jr. Grad Transfer
Mason Gillis RS Junior RS Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Brandon Newman RS Junior RS Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Ethan Morton Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Zach Edey Junior Senior FREE COVID YEAR
Caleb Furst Sophomore Junior Senior
Trey Kaufman-Renn RS Freshman RS Soph. RS Junior RS Senior
Brian Waddell RS Freshman RS Soph. RS Junior RS Senior
Fletcher Loyer Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Braden Smith Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Camden Heide Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
William Berg Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Myles Colvin Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Jack Benter Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Scholarships Used 12 13 13 8 2 0
Scholarships Left 1 0 0 5 11 13

We’ll obviously monitor this situation. Who wants a backcourt of Hunter and Nijel Pack?