Former TCU forward Kouat Noi will not be playing professional basketball stateside, as it was reported by Australian basketball news outlet The Pick and Roll that the redshirt sophomore had withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft.
Noi went through several workouts with NBA teams, including Atlanta, the Celtics, and the Clippers, but most pundits did not feel he was a candidate to be one of the 60 players selected in next Thursday’s draft. This does not mean that Noi will be returning to TCU - or college basketball in general, though, as he made it clear in announcing his entrance into the draft process that he was ready to get paid.
I would like to thank God, my family, coaching staff, fans, and my teamates for being apart of my life. With that being said, my time here at TCU has come to an end and I have decided it’s time for me to pursue my career as a professional basketball player, thank you!#Gofrogs pic.twitter.com/GMp6qIYy1f— Kouat Noi (@KouatN) April 12, 2019
A native of Newcastle, the Sudanese-Australian small forward told Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram that it was pro ball or bust. “I’m all in. I feel like it’s time to go. I could definitely stay another year, but I feel like it’s my time. I’m ready to go to the next level. It’s going to be a hard process, but I’m 100 percent confident in myself.”
Noi averaged 12 points per game in two seasons for the Horned Frogs, including nearly 14 this past season. He’s a career 38.7% shooter from beyond the arc, and has the size at 6’7” to be a prototypical 3 and D at the next level. He will need to improve his defensive intensity and acumen if he wants to eventually make it to the NBA, but the athleticism and shooting are certainly there.
Withdrawing from the draft probably means a couple things; one that he was not given the draft grade he hoped for and was instead encouraged to build up his resume overseas. Additionally, he could have an arrangement in place with a foreign team and possibly a contract in the works. Wherever Noi ends up, his career will certainly be one to watch going forward. He gave TCU fans a lot of great memories and was a big part of several program-defining wins in the process. Here’s hoping he gets his chance to prove himself at the next level.