Scottie Lewis is coming back to Florida and foregoing the 2020 NBA draft, the freshman wing announced on his Twitter account Monday.
Lewis, 20, averaged 8.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 30 games this season for Florida, including 20 starts, while consistently displaying the athleticism that earned him a five-star designation coming out of high school in New Jersey.
“Gator Nation, as you all know we have some unfinished business! Our season was cut short, and we were not able to complete our season that we were supposed to,” Lewis wrote on his Twitter account. “My dream of playing in the NBA is still a top priority, but my heart is in Gainesville! With that being said, I am more than happy to announce I’ll be returning for the 2020-21 season.”
Despite being projected by ESPN as a late first-round draft pick, Lewis wasn’t expected to be selected until the second round — if at all. Considering the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the upcoming NBA draft schedule — all meetings and workouts will now be held virtually, if at all — Lewis’ decision allows him to return to the program and continue developing rather than risk possibly going undrafted due to unprecedented circumstances that would have limited him from improving his stock.
Now, the Gators await word regarding the future of starting point guard Andrew Nembhard and sophomore wing Keyontae Johnson. The latter is ranked No. 53 on The Athletic’s list of best available NBA draft prospects, while Nembhard, who as a freshman sought an evaluation from the league before returning, is expected to heavily consider entering the NBA draft, leaving Florida in search of a starting point guard next season. If the Aurora, Canada, native does opt to forego his junior campaign at UF, Gainesville native Tre Mann will likely compete with sit-out transfer Tyree Appleby for Florida’s starting point guard role next season.