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HBCU Standouts Bluntt (Delaware State) And Johnson (Jackson State) Officially Enter The NBA Draft
By Tony McClean
Updated: May 5, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — While many of us media folks were ingrossed at the NFL Draft in New York last weekend, the early stages of the NBA Draft were taking shape behind the scenes.
The league released the names of 93 players, including 63 players from U.S. colleges and institutions and 30 international players, have filed as early entry candidates for the June 28th draft.
Players that renounced their remaining intercollegiate eligibility and enter the 2006 NBA Draft were required to submit a letter to the NBA to be received no later than April 29.
Players who have applied for early entry also have the right to withdraw their names from consideration for the Draft by notifying the NBA of their decision in writing no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 18.
Among those players are two of the best players from the MEAC and SWAC: juniors Jahsha Bluntt of Delaware State and Trey Johnson of Jackson State.
The MEAC’s Player of The Year, the 6-foot-6 Bluntt led the Hornets to the 2005-06 regular season title and an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. The Hornets defeated Northern Arizona in their NIT opener before falling to Louisville in the next round.
Bluntt led DSU in scoring at 14.6 points-per-game this past season. He was also cited by CollegeInsider.com as the league Most Outstanding Player. In addition to his awards, Bluntt also reached two milestones this past season.
On Feb. 6 at North Carolina A&T, he scored 19 points to pass 1,000 for his DSU career. He now has 1,194 points, 10th on the school’s all-time scoring list. Also, Bluntt became the Hornets’ all-time leader in three-point field goals when he nailed five against Hampton on Feb. 18.
He finished with 224 treys, breaking the previous record of 195 was held by Terrence Hood (1995-99). Bluntt is the first Delaware State player to earn All-America consideration since Tom Davis in 1989.
As for Johnson, the 6-foot-5 junior was the second leading scorer in the SWAC (behind Grambling State guard Brion Rush) and ranked eighth in scoring among all Division I NCAA players. At Jackson State, Johnson led the Tigers, averaging 23 points per game.
Johnson, a native of Jackson, transferred from Alcorn State and set the Jackson State record by making 169 free throws this season. He ranked fifth nationally by making 45 percent of his 3-point attempts.
The Tigers (15-17, 11-9 SWAC) were the second-highest scoring team in the SWAC, averaging 71.7 points a game. Jackson State, who reached the SWAC Tournament semifinals, averaged 73.7 points a game in SWAC play.
A first team All-SWAC selection, Jackson is also one of three finalists for the 2006 Cellular South Howell Trophy which is awarded annually to Mississippi’s top men’s college basketball player.
Neither player has hired an agent to represent them, meaning the door will be left open for a return in the 2006-07 season.