Trio Of Tigers To Test NBA Draft Waters, Maintain Collegiate Eligibility

Xavier Pinson, Jeremiah Tilmon and Mitchell Smith will all go through the process

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou rising junior Xavier Pinson and rising seniors Mitchell Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon announced Tuesday that they will enter their names in the 2020 NBA Draft pool in order to test the process, but will all take steps to retain their collegiate eligibility to allow a return to Columbia for the 2020-21 campaign.

“I’m very supportive of all three of them going through this to receive key information from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee and greatly benefit from the process,” head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I know they each have goals to pursue professional basketball at the highest levels and this is a significant step in that journey. We’ll help them in any way we can.”

The NCAA deadline for withdrawal from the NBA Draft is June 3.

Pinson exploded offensively during his sophomore season, averaging 11.1 points while shooting 40 percent from the field and 81.7 percent from the free throw line. He erupted in league play, pouring in 13.3 points per game and reaching double digits 10 times. In the final nine games of the season, Pinson scored 18.9 points per game, including four 20-point outings and a career-high 32 point outburst in a win over Ole Miss. Pinson became just the third Tiger in the last three decades to reach 525 points, 150 assists and 150 rebounds in his first 65 or fewer games.

In his fourth season at Mizzou, Smith had his best campaign as a Tiger in 2019-20, setting career-highs in points (153), rebounds (146) and assists (20). He entered his redshirt junior season with 10 total career triples, and made 20 treys alone in 2019-20. Despite starting just 13 games, Smith led Mizzou in rebounding with 4.9 per game. He was stellar the free throw line, shooting 85.4 percent from the charity stripe to help the Tigers set a new single-season program record from the foul line.

Tilmon appeared in 17 games a junior, averaging 8.2 points and 4.4 points while shooting 58.9 percent from the field. He racked up a team-best 21 blocked shots as a junior and has 79 in his career, which ranks 11th all-time at Mizzou. His career field goal percentage of 56 percent is tied for fourth all-time in program history.

For all the latest on Mizzou Men’s Basketball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team at @MizzouHoops (TwitterInstagramFacebook).­