After an underwhelming freshman season that failed to live up to high expectations, forward Caleb Houstan has opted to forgo his collegiate eligibility and remain in the NBA Draft.
A month ago, Houstan entered his name in the draft but retained the option of returning to Michigan by not hiring an agent. Now, Houstan has shut the door on a return to the Wolverines by announcing his decision to hire representation and remain in the NBA Draft.
Houstan joins freshman forward Moussa Diabate as one-and-done players for Michigan. Prior to 2022, only two Wolverines had ever left the program after just one season. This year alone, two are doing so in Houstan and Diabate.
In a starting role, Houstan shot below 40% from the floor and averaged 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Although he shot 35.5% from three — the fourth best percentage on the team — he struggled to string strong performances together and proved to be a streaky shooter.
The lack of reliability and consistency proved costly throughout the season as Michigan fell short of its lofty pre-season expectations.
Now, Houstan plans to take his talent to the next level and look for more consistent success in the NBA.
Houstan’s decision shows that he feels confident in his ability to find that consistency. On May 10, the NBA announced 76 prospects who would attend the NBA Combine on May 18. According to Jonathon Givony from Draft Express, only two players declined invitations to the combine — one being Houstan.
This unusual decision likely meant one of two things: Either Houstan decided that he needed an additional year of development or he felt confident that he would be drafted no matter what.
The hiring of an agent suggests that the latter option is likely accurate and a team had promised to draft him without participating in the combine.
A team that drafts Houstan would likely pick later in the draft. Despite being projected as a lottery pick prior to the season, his shortcomings sank his draft stock significantly over the course of the year.
Going into the season, many assumed that Houstan, a five-star recruit, would leave the program after one season. As the season progressed though, that conclusion became less and less certain.
But over the last month, given his choice not to participate in the combine, there has been speculation about a draft promise for Houstan.
Now that his decision is set in stone, the question that remains is whether or not Houstan’s name will be called.
On June 23, at the NBA Draft, that will be determined.