AJ Hammons spent the past month flirting with the NBA Draft. He spent time evaluating his situation and decided that he would be better suited returning to Purdue for another season.
Its hard to disagree with his decision. While Hammons is supremely talented and has the size to play in the NBA, he doesn’t appear to have the drive and need to hone his skills.
“I’ve decided to stay and continue my education here at Purdue, and there are a lot of goals I still want to accomplish with my teammates on the court,” Hammons said. “First and foremost, we want to get back to the postseason and compete for a Big Ten title. I feel like we owe our fans some better basketball.
“Purdue is a special place with a lot of great people and I’m excited to continue my education here and be a part of a great community.”
Hammons spent the past month meeting with coach Matt Painter and draft analysts to determine where he might end up. Most predictions had him in the late second round to undrafted, far from a sure bet to make the NBA.
“We are excited that A.J. has decided to remain in school and continue his education and career here at Purdue,” Painter said. “He is fully dedicated to helping us improve and he will be an instrumental piece for our program during the 2014-15 season. We look for continued development from A.J. and expect him to take on a significant leadership role next season.”
Hammons made the Big Ten All-Defensive Team in his sophomore season. He averaged over three blocks per game and 7.4 rebounds. On the offensive end, Hammons put up 10.8 points per night off 51-percent shooting.
He checks in at 7-feet tall and 251-pounds, he is a wealth of potential but has a few areas to work on before making the next step. He needs to refine his offensive game and work on consistency from night to night. When dialed in, he can dominate but has a tendency to lose focus and pick up fouls in bunches.
He showed solid, but incremental improvements from his freshman to sophomore years and will need a big leap before next season to solidify his position in the draft.
To read the official release from Purdue, click here.