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Josh Pastner expects Josh Okogie to receive combine invite

January 28, 2018 Atlanta - Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie (5) gets a shot off against Clemson forward Aamir Simms (25) and Clemson forward Mark Donnal (5) during the second in a NCAA college basketball game at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta on Sunday, January 28, 2018. Clemson won 72-70 over the Georgia Tech. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
January 28, 2018 Atlanta - Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie (5) gets a shot off against Clemson forward Aamir Simms (25) and Clemson forward Mark Donnal (5) during the second in a NCAA college basketball game at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta on Sunday, January 28, 2018. Clemson won 72-70 over the Georgia Tech. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said he expects guard Josh Okogie to be invited to the NBA draft combine in Chicago, an outcome that likely would extend Okogie’s decision-making process for whether he will turn professional.

“I assume he will get invited, but I would be surprised if he didn’t,” Pastner told the AJC.

Pastner said he was basing his assumption both on feedback he has heard from NBA scouts and his knowledge of Okogie’s game. Pastner also said that he thinks that Okogie will wait until the NCAA’s May 30 withdrawal deadline to make a stay-or-go decision. The combine is May 16-20.

If Okogie were not invited to the combine, which brings together around 60 of the top draft prospects for auditions in front of NBA scouts, coaches and decision makers, it would be a fairly strong statement on his draft candidacy and could prompt him to return. In recent years, invitations to the combine have been released around the end of April or beginning of May.

However, a combine invitation offers the chance for Okogie to improve his draft stock and possibly play his way into the first round.

Pastner advised Okogie to turn professional if he receives assurance that he’ll be taken in the first round, but otherwise to come back for his junior season.

If Okogie were to take until the May 30 deadline to decide, it would complicate Tech’s recruiting strategy. Pastner has one scholarship available to give for the 2018-19 academic year. He would have two if Okogie decides to leave. However, if Okogie’s return is unclear, that would put Tech in a position of trying to pursue targets while not being able to guarantee a scholarship. Further, players could have made decisions before the May 30 deadline. For instance, Adam Smith decided to attend Tech as a graduate transfer in late April 2015.

Tech continues to recruit prospects in the 2019 high-school class while also looking at transfers and graduate transfers.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, two NBA scouts told the AJC in March that they didn't think Okogie was a first-round pick, but said that could change based on his performance in private workouts and the combine. He is not included in a mock draft on the website nbadraft.net, but is slotted as the No. 48 pick on a Sports Illustrated projection.