Big Ten Daily: Duane Washington Not Returning to Ohio State, Will Stay in NBA Draft

Duane Washington forgoes his senior season with Ohio State to remain in the NBA Draft, Illinois governor signs names, image and likeness legislation and Tyler Underwood joins Illini basketball staff. Here's the latest from the Big Ten Conference.
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Duane Washington's college basketball career is over. Rather than returning to Ohio State in 2021-22 for his senior season, he will remain in the NBA Draft and become a pro.

As a junior at Ohio State, Washington scored a team-high 16.4 points per game while also recording 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest. He improved on those marks in the postseason, scoring 22 points and grabbing 6.4 rebounds per game.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound guard is a versatile scorer, which will be valuable at the NBA level. Washington shot 45.8% from the field while also converting 37.4% of his 3-point attempts and 83.5% from the free-throw line. 

Washington had an impressive showing at both the NBA Combine and the G-League Elite camp earlier this week. 

With Washington's departure, Ohio State will look for production from other guards on the roster. Penn State transfer Jamari Wheeler played 31 minutes per game for the Nittany Lions last season. 

The Buckeyes will also wait to see if forward EJ Liddell decides to return to the program. He also has his name in the NBA Draft but has yet to make an official announcement. 

Illinois Governor Signs Name, Image and Likeness Legislation

The State of Illinois is moving forward with name, image and likeness policies. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill on Tuesday that will allow college student-athletes to make money from their brands. 

States across the country have approved similar laws to allow student-athletes to take advantage and profit off their name, image and likeness. Most changes are set to go into effect on July 1. 

"Today's action is a significant step forward fo student-athletes at Northwestern and across our state," Northwestern athletic director Derrick Gragg said. "We sincerely appreciate the leadership of Representative Kam Buckner and Northwestern alumni House Speaker Emanuel 'Chris' Welch, Senator Napoleon Harris and Senator Jacqueline Collins, as well as the support of Governor Pritzker, ensuring that Illinois is a trailblazer in supporting student-athletes." 

This week, the NCAA announced that the Division I Council recommended a temporary solution for name, image and likeness, which would allow student-athletes to benefit. The decision must be approved by the NCAA Board of Directors at a meeting today. 

Tyler Underwood Officially Joins Illini Basketball Staff

After a six-year college basketball career, Tyler Underwood — the son of Illinois coach Brad Underwood — is joining the Illini staff as the director of recruiting and scouting. 

"Tyler has prepared for this opportunity his whole life," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said in a statement. "He has always viewed the game from the coaching perspective and really focused his approach from that side of it more so than as a player these last couple of seasons. Tyler builds strong relationships, and he is respected in the locker room for how he's pushed his teammates to help them achieve their best. He loves the University of Illinois, and when you combine that with his passion and knowledge for the game of basketball, he is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff." 

Tyler played his final four seasons with the Illinois basketball program. He only appeared in seven games last season and hit a 3-pointer during the team's win over Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament. It was his only 3-point attempt of the season. 

The Illini lost key contributors Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn to the NBA Draft, and Adam Miller transferred out of the program. Illinois will bring in a top-25 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. 

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