BasketballSports & Rec

Commentary: Is the NBA Draft in store for Shaver Jr. or Akot?

Photo by Corissa Campbell

Boise State men’s basketball made a huge statement this season by winning the Mountain West regular season and tournament championship which led to their appearance in the NCAA March Madness tournament.

Now, four weeks after the end of the season, the focus has shifted to what the seniors and fifth-year players will be doing after their time at Boise State is over.

The names that come to mind are redshirt seniors Emmanuel Akot, Marcus Shaver Jr. and fifth-year Abu Kigab. These players were the driving force for the Broncos this year and I was interested to see if they would declare for the NBA Draft.

As of now, there is no official word of what Kigab is going to do, but it can be assumed that he will at least test the waters of the NBA Draft and see what happens from there.

On the other hand, Shaver Jr. and Akot recently took to Instagram to announce their plans for furthering their basketball careers.

Shaver Jr. and Akot plan to declare for the 2022 NBA Draft, but also maintain their last year of eligibility to play for Boise State. However, Akot will be entering the transfer portal to explore his options as well.

Akot was third in scoring behind Shaver Jr. and Kigab, averaging 10.6 points and shooting 40% from the 3-point line and from the field. 

It will be interesting if a “higher profile” university will take a look at Akot, who is the ideal wing player: he can guard the perimeter, shoot the three efficiently and get to the basket.

The same goes for Shaver Jr., second in scoring at 13.3 points, 35% from the 3-point line and 40% from the field. He is a good scoring guard, but also a floor general, who was able to handle the ball in high-pressure situations and hit clutch shots as well. 

His most notable shot was hitting the game-winning three against Utah State on the road. He has an NBA skillset, but who knows what NBA teams will be looking at Shaver Jr. in a guard-heavy league.

If he were to return to Boise State, he would be welcomed back after losing Kigab and the team needing some veteran leadership moving forward.

NBA mock drafts published by Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports and CBS Sports, do not have either of these players (Akot and Shaver Jr.) going in the first round. Some predict they won’t get drafted at all. This is expected due to Boise State basketball not having the “prestige” of other D1 programs.

The 2022 NBA Draft doesn’t happen until June 23, so there is time for projections to change, but it is looking like Shaver Jr. and Akot will go undrafted and be back playing college basketball for one more year.

The last Bronco to enter the draft was Derrick Alston Jr. in June 2021, who went undrafted and finished his first year in the G-League with the Salt Lake City Stars. Alston Jr. averaged 19.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Emmanuel Akot, Boise State basketball, 2021-22, declare for NBA Draft
[Emmanuel Akot in a Boise State home game]
Photo by Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter
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