There were 181 players from American colleges who declared, which is an increase from 137 in 2017. There are an additional 55 international players.
A vast majority of these players will withdraw their name from the draft. Most are taking advantage of the rule that allows a player to enter his name into the draft pool as many times as he wants but still maintain his collegiate eligibility, provided he does not hire an agent.
That rule was instituted in 2016 and has resulted in a massive spike of early entrants. Last season, 64 early entrants from NCAA programs kept their name in the draft. There are only 60 draft spots, so some of these players do so knowing it's likely they will go undrafted.
In many cases, these players forgo their eligibility for financial reasons, as they look to jumpstart their careers in the NBA, G League or overseas. But in many others, it's because they have more than proved themselves capable of making the leap.
A senior did not go until the 29th pick in the 2017 NBA draft. The first 11 picks were freshmen or had no college experience.
The top eight players on Sports Illustrated's top 100 prospects for the 2018 class are freshmen or have no college experience.