Potential first-round pick Miles McBride is keeping his name in the 2021 NBA draft and will forgo his remaining eligibility at West Virginia, he told ESPN on Saturday.
"This was definitely a difficult decision," McBride told ESPN. "Huggs [Coach Bob Huggins] has done so much for me. I love West Virginia, the fans and the entire city of Morgantown. Leaving will be hard, but it's always been my dream to play in the league. Leaving now gives me the best chance to do that."
McBride, the No. 33 player in the ESPN 100, has had a strong pre-draft process that has elevated his standing in the eyes of NBA teams and gives him a good chance to secure a guaranteed contract.
"The main reason was the feedback I got from the NBA's undergraduate advisory committee. Being drafted in the late first to early second round is what I've heard the most," McBride said. "I had a great week at the NBA combine and at my pro day, meeting with NBA teams and hearing from them directly how interested they are in me."
McBride was named second-team All-Big 12 last season after averaging 15.8 points, 4.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
The 20-year-old guard is intriguing to NBA teams due to his combination of defensive versatility, playmaking ability and outside shooting, as he shot 41.4% on 3-pointers last season and was considered one of the most disruptive defenders in the college game.
"A lot of teams like my competitiveness," McBride said. "They understand that I have some things I need to work on, but they like how hard I work and the fact that I'm an elite competitor."
While hearing his name called early in the draft would be a dream come true, McBride said he is more focused on being selected by the right team to help carve out a long-term niche in the NBA.
"It's very important to find the right situation and fit, understanding that a team did their homework on me and being able to help a team win games," he told ESPN. "My defense will hopefully allow me to see minutes, and if I can knock down shots, I'll be able to carve out a role early in my career."
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.