Mississippi State's Robert Woodard II entering NBA draft

Mississippi State sophomore Robert Woodard II is entering the 2020 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Thursday.

"I am going into the draft with the intention of not going back to school," Woodard told ESPN. "I am maintaining my eligibility because of the uncertainty about the dates and what workouts will look like, but I don't look it at is as testing the waters. I am all-in with this thing."

Woodard, the No. 24 prospect in the ESPN Top 100, is coming off a breakout season for the Bulldogs, averaging 11.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 43% from 3-point range.

Mississippi State was the fourth seed in the Southeastern Conference tournament, but the tournament and the rest of the season were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Right now I am back home in Columbus, Mississippi," he said. "At first, I was just trying to wrap my head around what happened, but now it's back to work. I'm in the gym, shooting, working on my ballhandling and doing physical training with conditioning and weights. I have a saying: 'Stay ready so you don't have to get ready.'

"I've been watching film, focusing on both ends of the floor, my own games to see what I can do to improve, as well as my personal favorite, Kawhi Leonard. I like studying how efficient he is on both ends. The way he uses angles on offense and defense. He doesn't need too many dribbles to impact the game."

The 6-foot-7 forward is the son of Robert Woodard, who also played at Mississippi State and is the all-time leading scorer in Mississippi high school basketball. Woodard II was invited to four USA Basketball camps as a 15- and 16-year-old and won a gold medal at the U16 FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina.

With his 7-1 wingspan and 230-pound frame, Woodard is considered an ideal NBA combo forward prospect thanks to his defensive versatility and strong 3-point percentage.

"Shooting has become a major part of pro basketball the past few years and my game translates very well," Woodard said. "I can defend several positions from 1-4 while being able to stretch the floor and switch on everything, which can impact the game greatly. I bring consistency, energy and someone who plays the game the right way, doing whatever needs to be done to win games."

The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25, but following worldwide suspensions of basketball activities during the coronavirus pandemic, NBA front-office executives and others in the industry told ESPN they are bracing for the potential impact of a delayed 2020 draft with a heavily reduced pre-draft process.

"This whole situation with the coronavirus is almost surreal," Woodard said. "It's hard to believe that this is going on right now. Being a part of piece of history, it's mind-boggling. Everything is at a standstill. I was expecting to be able to attend the combine and work out for NBA teams.

"There's nothing but time on our hands now, so I need to take advantage of that. We'll still have the interview process to be in contact with teams. That will give people a chance to learn more about what I can bring to the table in terms of the type of guy I am. I can still show them my basketball IQ."