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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Marcus Sasser and Fabian White Jr among 353 players who filed as early entry candidates for 2021 NBA Draft

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UPDATED: June 2, 2021 -- 12:35 p.m. CT

POSTED: June 2, 2021 -- 10:38 a.m. CT

Tuesday night, the NBA announced that 353 players -- 296 players from colleges and other educational institutions and 57 international players -- have filed as early entry candidates for the 2021 NBA Draft.

Five Houston Cougars players are among the 353: Justin Gorham, Quentin Grimes, DeJon Jarreau, Marcus Sasser, and Fabian White Jr.

Gorham and Jarreau have graduated from the University of Houston; however, since the NCAA granted one additional year of eligibility to all student-athletes, seniors who declined to use the additional year had to notify the NBA whether or not they would be a candidate for the 2021 NBA Draft.

Gorham, Grimes, and Jarreau are not surprises as early entry candidates. Honestly, Fabian White Jr on the list is a bit of a surprise. After tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last summer, White was expected to miss the entire 2020-21 season. White was medically cleared and decided to join the team and played his first game of the season on February 18, 2021.

On April 14, 2021, White and Houston announced he was returning to Houston for the 2021-22 season.

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Seeing Marcus Sasser on the list surprises me simply because I didn't expect it. Sasser has been at Houston for 2 years; and, technically, he will be a sophomore once again in 2021-22 because of the additional year granted from the NCAA.

April 5, 2020, Nate Hinton filed as an early entry candidate for the 2020 NBA Draft. Nate did not get drafted; but, he did sign a Two-Way contract with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. (You can see Nate on the Mavs' bench in the First Round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.)

DeJon Jarreau also filed as an early entry candidate for the 2020 NBA Draft last April; however, DeJon withdrew his name and had a stellar 2020-21 season and helped lead the Coogs to the 2021 Men's Final Four.

Players who have applied for early entry have the right to withdraw their names from consideration for the Draft by notifying the NBA of their decision in writing no later than 4 p.m. CT on Monday, July 19. Under NCAA rules, in order to retain college basketball eligibility, college players who have entered NBA Draft 2021 must withdraw by Wednesday, July 7.

Any college underclassman who seeks information from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee must apply in writing for an evaluation after the conclusion of his team's college season (including all tournament games) but not later than 10 days prior to the NBA's early entry deadline (i.e., the NBA's early entry deadline is 60 days prior to the NBA Draft).

The feedback from the Undergraduate Advisory Committee will be provided in writing and it will be delivered to the student-athlete and his head college coach via email. Feedback will be based on the professional judgment of the Undergraduate Advisory Committee and highlight whether the student-athlete is likely to be:

The NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee is composed of NBA team executives who will provide a confidential projection of a potential draftee's likely draft position.

The NBA began providing the initial round of written feedback to UAC applicants on April 1, 2021.

A student-athlete who wishes to remove his name from the NBA Draft AND maintain NCAA eligibility must submit a letter to the NBA no later than 10 days after the conclusion of the 2021 NBA Draft Combine which is scheduled to end June 27, 2021; therefore, the July 7, 2021, NCAA Early Entry Withdrawal deadline.

The 2021 NBA Draft is set to take place July 29, 2021.

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