Baylor freshman Jeremy Sochan will participate in the 2022 NBA draft and forego his remaining college eligibility by hiring agents, he told ESPN on Friday.
“I’m fortunate to be able to declare myself for the 2022 NBA draft,” ESPN 100 No. 14 Sochan told ESPN.
He said he would sign with Tandem Sports’ Jim Tanner and Deirunas Visockas.
Sochan was named a Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, and a Big 12 All-Freshman Team after averaging 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and .4 rebounds in 25 minutes last season 1.8 assists. He helped Baylor to a 27-7 record and a first-place finish in the NCAA tournament, while establishing himself as one of the best defensemen in the collegiate game.
“This season has had many ups and downs,” said Sochan. “We were unlucky with injuries but it was a great opportunity for me to grow and show the NBA my toughness and versatility on both sides. I started this season with the intention to improve and help the team win.”
Sochan was born to an American father and Polish mother in Oklahoma, where his parents played basketball in Division II Panhandle State. Sochan moved to England at a young age and has lived most of his life there.
He had his breakthrough at the FIBA U16 European Championship Division B in 2019, winning MVP honors and leading Poland to first place. Shortly thereafter he transferred to La Lumiere School in Indiana but due to the pandemic decided to return to Europe and transferred to Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany for his senior year. He then committed to Baylor via offers from Kansas, Michigan State, Arizona and others.
Sochan became the youngest player in history to play for Poland senior team at the FIBA Eurobasket qualifiers in February 2021, scoring 18 points in a win over Romania.
“I may be the only player in this draft who has played at an NCAA level in an American high school, in Europe against men, and in college,” Sochan said. “This experience has been extremely useful for me both on and off the pitch. I think my ability to work hard, learn and adapt quickly will make it easier for me to develop further.”
Sochan, who is 6-foot-10, 229 pounds and has a 7-0 span, played a variety of roles for Baylor and has flicked between the small forward, power forward and center positions because of injuries which forced the Bears to shuffle lineups and adjust their lineups playstyle.
Though Sochan wasn’t initially considered a surefire candidate, his energy, competitiveness, defensive versatility, and tenacity helped him establish himself as a potential lottery pick in Big 12 play. He was regularly tasked with switching to guards and wings in Baylor’s aggressive defensive concepts while showing increasingly polished flashes as a ball handler, passer and shooter, portending good things to come down the line.
“I always knew I was going to be in the NBA, whether it took one year or four,” Sochan said. “I have my own game that depends on a lot of different players and positions. Some players I think I can learn a lot from are Mikal Bridges, Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Jaylen Brown, Aaron Gordon, Boris Diaw to name a few.”
Sochan is one of the youngest players currently due for draft who has not yet turned 19. He’s grown an inch over the past few years, which has allowed him to see some minutes as a modern Diaw-style smallball center with perimeter skills and turn his back on him as his career progresses.
“I look forward to showing NBA teams how mature my game is for my age and how quickly I learn and adapt to new places,” said Sochan. “Also my shot consistency and how I can get involved on the offensive.”
The NBA Draft Combine will take place May 16-22 in Chicago and the draft on June 23 in New York City.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analysis service used by NBA, NCAA, and international teams.