Perhaps the only surprise was that it took this long, but on Tuesday morning, Cam Whitmore officially announced his intent to enter the 2023 NBA Draft in a conversation with NBA reporter Shams Charania.
Villanova University freshman Cam Whitmore – a projected top 10 pick – tells me he is entering the 2023 NBA Draft. Our sitdown: pic.twitter.com/mldqW0mRCi— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 11, 2023
Underclassmen have until April 23 to declare for the draft. Whitmore becomes Villanova’s first true one-and-done since Tim Thomas in 1997. Omari Spellman also declared in his first and only season as a Wildcat, following Villanova’s 2018 national championship run, but he also served a redshirt year before playing.
The 6-foot-7 forward is widely projected to go in the top 10 of the 2023 NBA Draft, according to various outlets and mock drafts.
Whitmore, who doesn’t turn 19 until July, was named the Big East Freshman of the Year this past season. He averaged 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Whitmore logged a season-high 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting against Xavier on Jan. 7. He also shined in a 21-point, nine-rebound performance in a loss to Providence on Jan. 29, and in a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double against Georgetown at Madison Square Garden in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.
There were some ups-and-downs, though, especially earlier in the year, when he missed the first month of the regular season to recover from a pre-season thumb injury. While his athleticism was apparent, there were some quiet performances and defensive lapses, and a first-hand admittance that he was struggling to grasp some of the Villanova systems.
However, the rust was shaken off over time, and it certainly helped having Justin Moore back in the lineup. With Moore facilitating, Whitmore scored 12 or more points in eight of the last 13 games, and he shot 50.0% overall during this stretch.
Whitmore was one of the key facets in a three-man recruiting class that also included Mark Armstrong and Brendan Hausen. They double-downed on their commitments after Jay Wright announced his sudden retirement and Kyle Neptune transitioned in as the new head coach.
The NBA Draft Combine is scheduled for May 15-21, and the NBA Draft Lottery will take place on May 16.
The 2023 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 22, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.