Arizona's Brandon Randolph (5) shoots around Southern California's Nick Rakocevic (31) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, March 13, 2019, in Las Vegas. 

Arizona sophomore Brandon Randolph says he’s testing the NBA draft, potentially opening a scholarship for the Wildcats’ spring recruiting efforts.

The Wildcats’ leading scorer last season, Randolph is not projected to be taken in the draft but he’ll have until May 29 to withdraw if he decides to return to school. Under new NCAA rules, he can hire an agent through the predraft process and, in the event that he is one of about 60 players invited to the NBA combine, can return to Arizona until four days after the NBA draft.

Arizona's Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier participated in the combine a year ago, and neither were drafted.

"After talking with my family and coaches, I have decided to take advantage of the new NCAA rules by testing the waters and entering my name in the 2019 NBA draft," Randolph posted Friday on Instagram. "I have always had dreams and aspirations of going to the next level and playing for a professional team one day.

"I am taking this process very seriously and look forward to getting feedback to help me make the best decision for my family and me. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and for being in my corner through this process, including God, my family, Arizona family, friends and UofA fans!! I appreciate your continued support! Bear Down!"

If he leaves permanently, Randolph would open one scholarship for the Wildcats, who have been pursuing several grad transfers and other targets this spring but have had no available scholarships for 2019-20. Max Hazzard of UC Irvine said he is taking a recruiting visit to UA on April 18.

Randolph was UA's leading scorer last season, averaging 12.4 points overall but slumped throughout the Pac-12 season. He averaged 9.9 points in conference games, while shooting 32.8 percent overall and just 26.2 percent from 3-point territory.

Randolph's role is likely to be reduced if he returns next season, with the Wildcats bringing in five-star guards Nico Mannion and Josh Green, along with four-star forwards Zeke Nnaji and Terry Armstrong, plus three-star center Christian Koloko.

Randolph is not listed in any mock drafts nor listed in ESPN's current list of its 100 top NBA prospects. However, ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz said last month Randolph could be a candidate to earn an "Exhibit 10" contract if he turns professional.

A notch down from the two-way deals in which a player can earn up to $275,000 while bouncing between the NBA and G League, an Exhibit 10 contract can earn a player a $50,000 bonus on top of a G League salary if he goes to an NBA camp and then stays with that team's G League affiliate for at least 60 days.

Randolph is the 12th Pac-12 player to declare early for the NBA draft so far this spring, joining Oregon's Bol Bol, Stanford's KZ Okpala, ASU's Luguentz Dort, UCLA's Kris Wilkes, UCLA's Jaylen Hands, WSU's C.J. Elleby, Oregon's Louis King, Washington's Jaylen Nowell, Oregon's Payton Pritchard, OSU's Tres Tinkle and Oregon's Kenny Wooten.

Of those 11, only Bol (13), Okpala (26), Dort (27), Wilkes (73) and King (35) are listed among ESPN's Top 100 prospects.


Mannion scored 28 points for the World team in its 93-87 loss to USA Basketball in the Hoop Summit global all-star game Friday in Portland.


Joseph Blair's Rio Grande Valley Vipers won the G League title with a 129-112 win over Long Island on Friday.

Contact sports reporter Bruce Pascoe at 573-4146 or bpascoe@tucson.com. On Twitter @brucepascoe

Sportswriter for the Arizona Daily Star covering Arizona Wildcats basketball