by Bill DiFilippo

In the least surprising news of the day, Kentucky’s star freshman Julius Randle has declared for the NBA Draft.

The forward announced today that he will forgo his final three years of eligibility and declare for this year’s NBA Draft. He joins several other star freshman to make this announcement, including Kansas’s Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker.

Randle helped carry Kentucky to the National Championship game as an 8 seed during the NCAA Tournament, where the Wildcats fell to UConn.

Via Lex18:

In his statement, Randle thanked UK fans and said he had the best coaching staff in the country that prepared him for this next step.

With five days left before the deadline for underclassmen to declare, the 6-foot-9 Dallas native announced the decision many expected even before he arrived as part of Kentucky’s best recruiting class ever. Projected as a lottery pick from the outset, Randle solidified his draft stock by leading Kentucky (29-11) to the NCAA final behind a string of double-doubles despite being double- and triple-teamed.

Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds for the Wildcats this year, and is the No. 5 prospect in the draft, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.