While Oklahoma State fans are disappointed with today’s 92-91 loss to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, there is a reason to be excited.
After the game, sophomore point guard Jawun Evans told Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman that he was leaning toward returning for the 2017-18 season.
FWIW, in the locker room, Jawun Evans said "most likely, I'll be back." Per @BerryTramel— John Helsley (@jjhelsley) March 17, 2017
However, he told Mark Cooper he hasn't thought about it.
FWIW, this is what #OKState G Jawun Evans said when I asked about next year: "I haven’t thought about it. I’ve still got this on my mind."— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) March 17, 2017
Evans, who averaged 19 points, 6.2 assists, and three rebounds a game for Brad Underwood, was an All-Big 12 First Teamer this season.
Evans can still choose to enter the draft, test the waters and then make a final decision. He has until the NBA Draft Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline on June 12th to do so.
Obviously, it’s still early, and the emotions were running high in the locker room following the loss. However, Evans returning next year would be huge for this team. It would mean Underwood would only lose two starters (Hammonds, Forte) on a young team with a lot of talent. How young you ask?
Straight from Coach Underwood himself: #okstate is the 279th oldest team in the country. Lots of returning faces next season.— Tyler Wiederhoeft (@TDWiederhoeft) March 17, 2017
Also, for Evans, returning to a team with as much talent as will be available, can only help his draft stock.
I hope he stays, and think he should. Another year could help strengthen the comparisons to Chris Paul. Plus, with the league’s other top point guards Monte Morris and Frank Mason III out of eligibility, Evans should be (at least one of) the preseason favorite for Big 12 Player of the year next season.
For now, Cowboy fans will just have to play wait-and-see, but get to do so with optimism.