Elijah Stewart will return to the USC basketball program next season.
Shortly after the list of players who declared for the draft was posted, Stewart’s notable absence became fodder for speculation. As far as Stewart is concerned, it was unfounded.
Jonathan Givony of Draft Express reported on Twitter that Stewart had every intention to declare for the draft, but “forgot” to send in his paperwork to make it official.
Am told USC's Elijah Stewart intended to declare for the draft, as we reported, but he unfortunately forgot to submit the paperwork to NBA.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 25, 2017
According to Stewart, this isn’t the case.
Stewart claims to have been studying for his final exams, and that he didn’t forget to submit his paperwork. He responded to Givony on Twitter shortly after the post was published.
you really need to do facts checks my guy, i've been studying for my finals, all you had to do was dm me,,, no one forgot 🚮
— Stewart, Elijah (@Lou_weezy_ana) April 25, 2017
Stewart logged huge minutes as a junior for the Trojans last year. Averaging 29.8 minutes per game, he managed 12.3 points per game and 3.9 rebounds. He was expected to declare for the draft, but might have decided against it when he saw how many players have decided to declare, and how many picks their are in the draft.
Nearly two-thirds of the players would go undrafted if the event took place tomorrow. Not great odds.
USC will be thrilled to get one of their best performers back, and one with tournament experience to boot.
Photo Credit: USC Athletics/Twitter