Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward V.J. Beachem declared for the NBA Draft today, although he will not yet hire an agent. Beachem is taking advantage of new rules that allow him to participate in a team workout and the combine (if invited, although he almost certainly will) before ultimately making a decision.
Beachem has one year of eligibility remaining and figures to be a legitimate all-ACC candidate should he return to Notre Dame. Beachem exploded with a great March that really turned heads and seems to have alerted everyone of what he is capable at the next level.
Obviously, we all want what's best for Beachem, but here's hoping that what's best for him is another year of seasoning as a primary option in head coach Mike Brey's very NBA-like offense. If he can increase his usage while shooting similarly well as he did last year, while also improving his free-throw shooting, he can really boost his stock. More than anything, a serious commitment to the defensive end is what is going to make him a first-round pick in the 2017 draft.
Also of note here is not just how supportive Brey is openly being (just like he did with Demetrius Jackson) but how he apparently is pushing V.J. to go this route in the first place.
Really excited for VJ to go through Draft process.— Mike Brey (@NDMikeBrey) April 12, 2016
This will set him up for a great finish to ND career or in NBA. pic.twitter.com/v0eX9E7UG6