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The early-entry list for the 2012 NBA Draft was finally officially released on Thursday, and it includes 49 college underclassmen and 17 international prospects. There are no real surprises on the list, as most of the top prospects who did declare for the draft have already said so. Here's a complete list.
The headliners include the five Kentucky products (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague), Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, Florida guard Bradley Beal, North Carolina swingman Harrison Barnes and Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger.
Underclassmen have until June 18 to pull out of the draft. However, due to a new NCAA rule, underclassmen that pull out cannot go back and return to college. That means that, barring a major surprise, the 49 underclassmen that have declared for the draft will all stay in the field.
For complete coverage of the 2012 NBA Draft, visit this StoryStream.
Entering the NBA Draft prior to finishing college is often a tough decision that has the possibility of changing a young athlete's life, so it makes sense that some players struggle when deciding whether to pursue their professional dreams or return for another season on campus.
Sometimes those decisions can confuse the people that follow such things, too, like Terrell Stoglin's decision on Sunday night to leave the Maryland Terrapins for the upcoming NBA Draft. Stoglin isn't included in the majority of mock drafts and had already declared that he'd be returning for his junior season, leading to confusion when Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports broke the news on Monday morning.
There's been a bit of clarification, however, that gives the decision a bit more clarity.
Terrell Stoglin and Mychal Parker left after a year suspension for a violation of the University of Maryland Student-Athlete Code of Conduct— Jeff Barker (@sunjeffbarker) April 30, 2012
Our friends over at Testudo Times, SB Nation's Terps blog, wrote that this will be a huge blow to their chances at success next season.
With Stoglin, many were speculating and picking Maryland as a top 25 team to start the 2012-2013 season. It also seemed to be the perfect opportunity for Maryland to jump back into the national spot light with their game against Kentucky at the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn, a game which many thought Maryland could win. But with Stoglin's departure, the chances of Maryland upsetting Kentucky just dropped considerably.
The other thing that just dropped considerably is Maryland's chances of returning to the NCAA Tournament next season. I'm not saying it can't and won't happen, but without Stoglin, the chances of that happening are definitely reduced.
Considering the new details about Stoglin's year-long suspension, it isn't a surprise that he's decided to leave school rather than staying on campus without the ability to play basketball next season. It'll be interesting what awaits if his future doesn't include the NBA, however.
Baylor's Quincy Miller will become the first "one-and-done" in program history when he declares himself eligible for the NBA draft.
All five starters from the Kentucky Wildcats' NCAA championship squad -- freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, and sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb -- declared for the 2012 NBA Draft during a joint press conference Tuesday night.
"It's been a great opportunity playing here, I'll miss this team, the way we played together. We all love each other," said Davis, who's expected to be the first overall pick. "I'm just going to miss this place. We won an NCAA championship here and did a lot. We all did a lot for this school and I'm going to miss it."
The Wildcats are also losing seniors Darius Miller and Eloy Vargas, leaving freshman Kyle Wiltjer as the lone returning rotation player from last year's squad. Despite having his roster completely overturned, John Calipari is happy for his players.
"This is a players' first program. I said it three years ago. During the season, it's about our team. You saw it in this year's team, they were about each other," Calipari said. "When the season is over, it's about moments like this."
This is a proud day for the Kentucky Wildcats program, coach John Calipari, the university, and the fans. While it is far from ideal to have young people depart an academic institution short of completing their courses of study, it is becoming clear that preparing young people to live their dreams, whatever they are, is at least as important as a degree, especially when the studies can be finished at a time more convenient time.
For more on the Wildcats, visit A Sea Of Blue.
The five starters from the Kentucky Wildcats' NCAA championship basketball team -- Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague -- have called a joint press conference for 7 p.m., in which they are expected to all declare for the 2012 NBA draft. The press conference was originally scheduled for 2 p.m., but was pushed back due to the players' academic schedules, according to the school.
If all five players do indeed go pro, it's not a surprise. Davis was sure to depart, as he's surely going to be the No. 1 pick. Kidd-Gilchrist and Jones are expected to be high lottery picks, so their decisions aren't shocking either. Lamb and Teague were less likely to declare for the draft, but both could be first-round picks depending on how things transpire over the next few months.
Click the link for a complete list of ways to watch the Kentucky press conference online.
For more on the Wildcats, visit A Sea Of Blue.
The 2012 NBA Draft has been expected to be pretty solid toward the top for the past few seasons, but a wrench could have been put in those plans if the top youngsters decided to stay in school. It seems the majority of the underclassmen will make the jump to the pros this summer, though -- or at least those that are presumed to be picked toward the top of the draft.
The latest player to make plans to turn professional is Florida Gators freshman Bradley Beal, according to Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports. The 6'3 guard averaged 14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists this past season while helping Florida to the NCAA Tournament.
The talented freshman didn't have the greatest experience at his lone March Madness outing, but SB Nation's Mike Prada believes that will only help make him a better prospect at the next level.
For college fans, the display ruined the perfect narrative of the talented freshman who seized control of a veteran team when it needed that most. For NBA fans like myself, though, the exchange was important for another reason. Failure can lead to tremendous growth, especially for an 18-year-old kid. Failure, in this case, will cause said growth, because so much was already needed to even get Beal to this point.
It'll be interesting to see if NBA scouts saw it the same way Prada did. Our own Tom Ziller ran down some of the possible criticisms of Beal in a recent mock draft.
For more on the Gators, be sure to visit Alligator Army.
University of Connecticut sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb has declared for the 2012 NBA Draft, the school announced in a press release on Tuesday. The sophomore guard led the Huskies in scoring at 17.7 points per game last season.
"It was a difficult decision, but after much prayer and discussion with my parents, I feel that it's in the best interest of me and my family to declare myself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball," Lamb said in the release.
Lamb is expected to be a late-lottery or mid-first round pick in the draft. SB Nation's Tom Ziller has Lamb going No. 14 overall in his latest NBA mock draft.
Lamb certainly had a good scoring season and possesses good size and upside, but he still saw his stock drop due to Connecticut's struggles defending its championship. Lamb also struggled in many big games this season, which has some scouts wondering if he can contribute at a high level against tougher defenses.
Fresh off their most impressive season in recent memory, the Indiana Hoosiers will welcome back two of their stars that helped make their Sweet 16 run possible. Center Cody Zeller and forward Christian Watford, the team's two leading scorers, announced that they will return to the school next season.
Zeller, a freshman center that emerged as Indiana's best player, was expected to be a potential lottery pick had he decided to enter the 2012 NBA Draft. Instead, he will remain in Bloomington for his sophomore year to continue the program revival that began when he chose Indiana out of high school. Zeller averaged 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in 28.5 minutes per contest, shooting 62.3 percent from the field. Watford, meanwhile, was not expected to be a high pick, so his decision to return for his senior year is less surprising.
With Zeller and Watford returning, Indiana is expected to be one of the top teams in the nation next season, as its top five scorers from a year ago will be returning.
The 6-foot-3 Jenkins has led the SEC in scoring in each of the last two seasons, averaging 19.5 points per game in 2010-11 and 19.8 points per game last season. Jenkins shot 47 percent from the floor in 2011 and his 134 three-point field goals set an SEC and Vanderbilt single-season record in addition to leading the nation in three-point field goals per game (3.83).
"This was a very difficult decision for my family and I to make, but I am ready to dedicate myself fully to achieving my dream of playing in the NBA," said Jenkins. "The last three years have been the time of my life, and I will always cherish my time at Vanderbilt and the relationships I have made along the way."
Vanderbilt will miss Jenkins, who was a two-time All-SEC first-team selection and ranks 10th on the school's all-time scoring list.
"I’m very happy for John as he has chosen this opportunity to pursue his professional career," said Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings. "This is something that he wants to do and has his family’s blessing. My role has been to accumulate information on where he might be drafted. I have given that information to John and his parents, and this is the decision they have made.
"We thank John for his incredible contributions over the last three years and wish him a long and prosperous professional career."
The 2012 NCAA Tournament has wrapped up and the early declarations for the upcoming NBA Draft have begun. Many standout players during the regular NCAA basketball season and the just-completed March Madness are looking to parlay their performance and national exposure into the hope of turning pro. The latest to declare for the draft is Thomas Robinson, a junior forward from tournament runners-up the Kansas Jayhawks.
According to SB Nation Kansas City, Robinson officially announced his decision at at press conference at the Allen Fieldhouse on Monday. He expressed his appreciation for the school and their basketball program and Kansas head coach Bill Self wished the young player nothing but the best.
Robinson doesn't have a preference on a pro team, which is good because he is likely to be a lottery pick and could be selected as high as No. 2 overall in this year's draft.
While the weeks following the 2012 NCAA Tournament have featured a flurry of activity as standout players have declared their early entry into the NBA Draft, at least one college basketball star will be returning to school for another year.
"Over the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time thinking and praying about my future — not just about next year but many years down the road," said Burke. "After gathering information, I am excited to be continuing my education at Michigan as we look to accomplish even more in our 2012-13 season."
Burke may be thinking of next year's NCAA Tournament, since his Wolverines were upset early and bumped out of this year's March Madness before they really had a chance to get going.
In a move that is not a surprise, Baylor sophomore forward Perry Jones III will declare for the 2012 NBA Draft, according to a report from CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman.
Baylor sophomore Perry Jones III will head to the NBA. According to sources close to the program, the talented 6-foot-10 Texas native has decided to leave school.
Many expected Jones to declare after his freshman season, especially after he was handed a six-game suspension for accepting improper benefits, but Jones instead elected to return to Baylor. He averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in leading the Bears to the Elite 8, but failed to alleviate concerns about his inconsistency and reversion to contact inside. Nevertheless, due to his skills, size and upside, he is expected to be a lottery pick.
Goodman also reports that Baylor freshman forward Quincy Miller will make a decision on his future on Tuesday. The highly-acclaimed freshman averaged 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game as he returned from a knee injury suffered in high school.
Thomas Robinson will declare for the 2012 NBA Draft on Monday, according to a report by ESPN.
The father of Michigan point guard Trey Burke is disputing a CBS Sports report that his son is declaring for the NBA Draft by declaring his son hasn't yet left the Wolverines. He's using everyone's favorite platform to dispute published reports:
Trey Burke has not declared for the NBA draft. He is still enrolled at the University of Michigan.— Benji Burke (@Benjib10) April 4, 2012
If Burke is indeed turning pro, it would be the second consecutive year Michigan has lost its point guard to the NBA. In the 2011-'12 season, Burke averaged 14.8 points, 4.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds after replacing Darius Morris, who left early at the end of the 2010-'11 season.
Three Michigan players have transfered out of the program since the Wolverines' first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament ended a 24-10 campaign. Despite the attrition, Michigan is considered a dark horse Final Four pick next season due to a loaded incoming freshman class.
The 2012 NBA Draft will feature plenty of early entrants. There are already a bevy of players who were planning on entering the draft before their senior year of college. Following the 2012 NCAA Tournament, that number will only increase in the coming months as talented players attempt to go pro.
One of the players who is set to announce his entry in the NBA Draft is Ohio St. Buckeyes star forward Jared Sullinger. Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports reported that Sullinger is expected to make his official announcement on Wednesday.
The official Buckeyes Twitter feed announced that Sullinger's press conference will begin at 2:15 p.m. ET. The presser will be streamed live on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
In Sullinger's second season with OSU in 2011-12, he averaged 17.6 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game. In five games in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, Sullinger had three double-doubles and never scored fewer than 12 points in any game.
Update: As expected, Sullinger officially announced Wednesday that he's leaving Ohio State for the NBA.
For all news and information regarding the Ohio St. Buckeyes, please visit Along the Olentangy.
The 2012 NBA Draft is filled with depth in the front court, but the consensus seems to be that there are not a lot of point guard prospects worthy of a first round pick this June. One of the floor generals that seems to be ready for the NBA is Damian Lillard, a prospect that flew under the radar for most of the season.
Lillard, a 6-foot-3 junior point guard, held a press conference on Tuesday to announce his intentions of going pro after three seasons of donning a Weber State Wildcats jersey.
"I am extremely proud of Damian and couldn't be happier for him," Weber State head coach Randy Rahe, who recruited Lillard to Weber State, said in a press release. "He is a terrific player but he's even a better person and has represented us so well. No one I have been associated has worked harder than he has and I couldn't be prouder for him."
In 32 games this past season, the high-scoring guard averaged 24.5 points, five rebounds and four assists while shooting better than 40 percent from the three-point arc. The consensus seems to be that Lillard and North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall are the top two point guard prospects in this year's draft class.
Washington Huskies guard Tony Wroten will enter the 2012 NBA Draft, the team announced Tuesday via Twitter. Wroten joins forward Terrence Ross among the Huskies' early defections, though there doesn't appear to be any ill will with the team:
Wroten projects as a late first round pick according to DraftExpress.com. His 6'5, 180-pound frame is excellent for a combo guard, as is his ability to attack the rim off the dribble from the perimeter. He has some work to do on his outside shooting, however. Wroten shot just 16.1 percent from beyond the 3-point arc this past season while averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
For more on Wroten and the Huskies, head over to the SB Nation blog UW Dawg Pound.
The 2012 NBA Draft has long been expected to be loaded and, now that the college basketball season is complete, we'll see just how many of the nation's top prospects will take their talents to the professional level. One of the latest members of the college class to make the move is Syracuse Orange center Fab Melo.
Melo, a 7'0 center and likely first-round pick simply based on his size, missed the NCAA Tournament due to a suspension. There was no indication the suspension would last in to next season, but he decided to be proactive about his future.
Fab Melo has signed with Arn Tellem, according to multiple sources, which means he obviously isn't returning to Syracuse, as expected.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 2, 2012
Melo averaged a less-than-thrilling 7.8 points and 5.2 rebounds this past season, but the 21-year-old's ability to block shots and considerable upside make him likely worthy of a later first round pick this summer.
For reaction to Waiters' announcement and all things Syracuse sports, visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.
Fresh off a breakout junior season that saw him lead his Kansas Jayhawks to the National Championship Game, Thomas Robinson appears all but certain to declare for the 2012 NBA Draft. Coach Bill Self was asked about Robinson's future following Kansas' 67-59 loss to Kentucky on Monday night, and he all but confirmed that Robinson's college career is over. Via KUSports.com:
"I'll let him make the announcement," coach Bill Self said after the 6-foot-10 junior Robinson went out with 18 points and 17 boards in a 67-59 national title loss to Kentucky in the Superdome. "I'd be shocked (if he came back)."
Robinson himself said he still isn't sure when he will ultimately make up his mind, but his closest friend, Elijah Johnson, said it's essentially a given that Robinson will forego his senior season.
Noted Elijah Johnson about his roommate: "I’d be stupid in my head to think Thomas would be back. It’s all over, man, it’s over,"
Robinson is expected to be a top-five pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and could go as high as No. 2 overall. Robinson averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game in leading Kansas further than anyone expected they would go this season.
Terrence Ross, the Washington Huskies' brilliant sophomore wing, will enter the 2012 NBA Draft, he announced on Sunday. Ross hails from Portland and averaged 16 points and six rebounds a game for the Huskies this season. DraftExpress currently lists Ross as the No. 20 draft-eligible prospect in the world.
Ross' Washington teammate Tony Wroten remains undecided, however. The Seattle Times' Percy Allen reports that Wroten, a freshman, is considering leaving, but won't make a decision on the draft until closer to the NCAA's April 11 early entry deadline. (The NBA doesn't actually require prospects to declare their intent until the end of April, but the NCAA decided to move up the deadline to essentially prevent players from testing the waters by working out for teams before signing with an agent.)
Wroten averaged 16 points, five rebounds and 3.7 assists per game this season. DraftExpress has him ranked as the No. 23 prospect.
For more on Husky basketball, visit SB Nation's UW Dawg Pound.
North Carolina stars Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall, all of whom are likely first-round picks, will declare for the 2012 NBA Draft, the school announced on Thursday. None of the three are surprising entrants, as all have lingered in the top 20 of most NBA mock drafts.
UNC announces that Kendall Marshall, John Henson and Harrison Barnes all enter the 2012 NBA Draft.— Will Brinson (@willbrinson) March 29, 2012
Henson and Barnes were both among the first 10 picks in SB Nation's most recent mock draft, while Marshall's stock was rising before a season-ending injury in UNC's third-round NCAA Tournament win over Creighton. The trio will join senior Tyler Zeller as draft-eligible prospects. Zeller is also expected to be a first-round pick. T
The Tar Heels' fifth NBA prospect, freshman James Michael McAdoo, has yet to make a decision on his NBA future.
Barnes entered the year as the most highly-regarded of the five NBA prospects, but saw his stock drop after struggling in the Tar Heels' two NCAA Tournament games without Marshall.
For more on the Tar Heels, visit Carolina March.
Georgetown junior Hollis Thompson will forgo his final season with the Hoyas and declare for the 2012 NBA draft.
Thompson informed Hoyas head coach John Thompson III on Tuesday that he would not return. The rangy wing from Los Angeles entered his name in last year's draft, engaging the pre-draft process to understand where he stacked up. He did not hire an agent and returned for his junior season to combine with Jason Clark to lead the offense for a Georgetown team that was ranked in the top 15 for much of the NCAA basketball season.
After the forward flirted with the draft last year, his announcement came as no surprise to the Hoyas' head coach:
"Hollis returned for his junior year after submitting his name for the 2011 NBA Draft," John Thompson III said. "We fully anticipated he would enter the 2012 draft after this season. He is an extremely hard worker and we wish him the best as he takes his next step."
Behind Clark, Thompson was second on the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game and led the Big East in three-point shooting with a 43 percent mark. His shooting combined with his 6-foot-8 frame makes him an NBA-caliber talent. With both Clark and big man Henry Sims graduating, Thompson decided to move on as well, leaving Georgetown with a team that will be led by a talented and productive sophomore class.
For more on Thompson and reaction to his announcement, visit Casual Hoya.
Despite being a bench player in his sophomore season, Syracuse Orange guard Dion Waiters is leaving school to enter the 2012 NBA draft, the Philadelphia native announced Monday. He was the Big East Sixth Man of the Year this season after averaging 12.6 points and 1.8 steals in 24.1 minutes per game. He is projected as the 23rd overall pick in the draft by DraftExpress.com.
Waiters will sign with an agent, eliminating any possibility that he'll return for his junior season. The 19-year-old is 6-foot-4 and has legitimate size for an NBA shooting guard, and he said at a press conference announcing his decision Monday that head coach Jim Boeheim supported his decision. Via The Daily Orange:
"They had my back 100 percent, my family and coach Boeheim," Waiters said when reached on his cell phone Monday. "He said he thought I was ready, and that's all I needed to hear."
"It really hasn't hit me yet," Waiters said. "I still feel like I'm a regular kid and a regular person."
Well, Waiters already has the attitude of some NBA players, who feel they aren't regular people. I'm sure he'll feel immortal once he gets his first six-figure paycheck. Waiters has the potential to be a microwave scorer off the bench and should be able to play his way into a team's rotation in his rookie year.
For reaction to Waiters' announcement and all things Syracuse sports, visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.
Austin Rivers will reportedly leave Duke after one season to enter the 2012 NBA Draft.
The 2012 NBA draft has long been expected to be one of the best in quite awhile, but the depth of a given draft's talent pool is always subject to change depending on which players decide to stay in school. One of the players expected to land in 2012's top five, Kentucky Wildcats wing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, is apparently leaning toward declaring for this year's draft.
Kidd-Gilchrist said earlier this year that he wants to graduate from Kentucky, but ESPN's Chad Ford reported on Thursday afternoon that the talented freshman is leaning toward taking his talents to the NBA.
Kentucky freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will enter the 2012 NBA draft after the Wildcats' season ends, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Thursday.
"He hopes he'll be able to announce right after they win the NCAA championship," one source said. "But even if they don't win it all, he's coming. He knows he's going to be a top-5 pick. He can't pass that up."
It's terrible timing on Ford's part, considering Kidd-Gilchrist will now be bombarded with questions about the draft while trying to finish out his college career with an NCAA championship, but ultimately solid reporting if it turns out to be true.
For more on the Wildcats, be sure to visit A Sea Of Blue.
Royce White, the Iowa State forward who led the Cyclones past defending national champion UConn in the NCAA Tournament and played well against a stacked Kentucky team, will enter the 2012 NBA Draft, reports Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports.
White has just one collegiate season under his belt, as he didn't play as a freshman at Minnesota in 2009-10 and sat out the 2010-11 season. He averaged 13 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists for Iowa State this season, and will turn 21 years old in April, putting him at an age on par with prospects who have had three years of collegiate experience.
Goodman reports that NBA scouts have pegged White for the late first-round after his strong tournament production. DraftExpress lists White even higher, as the No. 20 draft-eligible prospect in the nation.
For more on White's decision, visit SB Nation's Iowa State blog Wide Right and Natty Lite.
Moe Harkless will reportedly announce plans to enter the 2012 NBA Draft after one season at St. John's.