Dexter Dennis pulls name out of NBA Draft, will return to WSU for junior season


FILE PHOTO/Marshall Sunner

Wichita State sophomore Dexter Dennis celebrates on the bench during the second half of the game against Tulsa on March 8 inside Charles Koch Arena.

Wichita State junior combo-guard Dexter Dennis announced on Tuesday that he will opt out of the NBA Draft and return to WSU for his junior season. This comes after Dennis entered the NBA Draft earlier this offseason in hopes of gaining some feedback on where he stands for a potential professional career.

Both Dennis and the coaching staff said this was the right decision for the talented guard. Dennis kept his collegiate eligibility throughout the process by not hiring an agent. 

“Dexter’s ultimate goal is to become an NBA player, and this is the first step,” Head coach Gregg Marshall said after Dennis declared earlier this offseason. “I have always believed that he has a great chance to eventually play at the next and gaining this experience is paramount. It’s an opportunity for him to get used to the workouts and find out what NBA executives think of him.” 

Since arriving at WSU as a freshman, Dennis has looked to be the next NBA player from WSU. He quickly became one of the top-scoring options for WSU and even hit a game-winning shot against Tulane. During the 2018-19 season, Dennis averaged 8.4 points while shooting 40% from three-point range. 

Dennis had some struggles a year ago, resulting in him taking a three-game leave of absence early on in the season. He was able to finish his sophomore season strong with a career-high 9.2 points per game. Although he wasn’t as efficient shooting the basketball, Dennis was also able to add 5 rebounds per game a season ago.

The Baker, Louisiana native was able to show other coaches, including Tulane’s Ron Hunter, why he could be an NBA player in the future. This past season, Dennis dropped 21 points while only missing one shot, which helped open Hunter’s eyes.  

“I’ve only been on this job for a few months, but how does he get out of the state of Louisiana? I have no idea,” Hunter said. “That kid can really play. That’s part of what I told my staff. I said that if there are any more guys like this in this state and they get out, then I’m going to need a whole new staff.”

For now, Landry Shamet will remain the most recent Shocker to be drafted in the NBA Draft. Jaime Echenique is the lone player from WSU’s roster last year that would be eligible to be drafted. 

With Dennis’s decision, WSU has all 13 of its scholarships filled for the upcoming season. Following the departure of seven scholarship players from a year ago, Dennis becomes the sixth player to announce his intentions to return to WSU for next season.