With the April 24 early entry deadline for the 2011 NBA Draft rapidly approaching, college players from around the country are on the clock contemplating on the biggest decision of their life. The following are some of the latest prospects to have made their decisions over the last few hours:
At a 3pm press conference today, Kemba Walker officially announced that he will be forgoing his senior year and instead take his talents to the NBA. The Bob Cousy Award winner is expected to be the second point guard selected in this year’s NBA Draft after Duke’s Kyrie Irving. Walker averaged 23.4 points per game this past season while leading UConn to a national title.
Another Final Four player that has decided to put his name in the draft is Butler’s Shelvin Mack. The junior guard has not hired an agent and therefore has until May 8th to withdraw his name. During the NCAA tournament, Mack averaged 20.3 points and hit 23 three-pointers — the fourth most in the tournament’s history.
In a surprising decision, Miami big man Reggie Jackson announced yesterday that he will be testing the NBA waters. The 6-10, 300 pound sophomore led the Hurricanes in rebound this past season, averaging 9.6 rebounds, while also averaging 11.9 points and shooting 59 percent from the floor. He did not sign with an agent.
In some even more surprising news — rather shocking — Baylor’s Perry Jones joined Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger in being another top-five projected draft prospect deciding to return to school and pass on the NBA. With highly touted incoming freshmen Quincy Miller and Duece Bello joining the program in the fall, seems like Baylor is going to be making a whole lot of noise next season.
With Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor having announced their intentions of returning to Kansas next season and the Morris twins declaring for the draft last week, all the attention has turned to Josh Selby. The freshman guard is now spending his second week away from school and at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, where he has been working out and looking to decide whether or not to enter the draft. He missed yesterday’s team banquet and head coach Bill Self is expecting a decision “real soon.“
Michigan’s Darius Morris is reportedly waiting for the NBA advisory committee of general managers, who “project a player’s draft potential”before making a decision on entering the draft.
It was reported during the weekend that Texas Longhorns forwards Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson are now leaning towards entering the NBA Draft, after both players made clear last month of their intentions to return to campus. Word has even spread that Thompson may have already signed with an agent.