The Purdue Boilermakers got some huge news on Tuesday when news broke that Nojel Eastern would be foregoing the 2018 NBA Draft and returning to school for his sophomore season. He had earlier declared for the Draft without an agent.
Got the whole squad back. It’s go time!— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) May 30, 2018
Welcome back @NEblessed_20. pic.twitter.com/3qP7btvBnu
Eastern was a true freshman for the Boilermakers last season and averaged just 2.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. And even though Eastern only averaged 12.6 minutes per game over the course of the season, he saw significantly playing time in the postseason, including nearly 20 minutes in multiple Big Ten Tournament games.
Considering that Eastern is not even listed on NBADraft.net’s most recent mock 2018 NBA Draft, this seemed like the most reasonable decision. Eastern will now have more time to develop before next summer and beyond.
There’s little arguing that this is great news for Purdue’s chances this season. With four starters departing, Purdue had some serious questions about how it was going to look heading into an important year. Eastern won’t alleviate all of those concerns, but he will at least help things somewhat.
Whether Purdue can achieve its goals next season with Eastern back in the fold remains to be seen, but fans have to be excited. The Boilermakers will look to continue the program’s recent run with Eastern in its lineup.