NBA Draft 2014: Alex Kirk forgoes final year at New Mexico

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

New Mexico center Alex Kirk will declare for the NBA Draft after his junior year with the Lobos.

Center Alex Kirk has decided to forgo his senior season with the New Mexico Lobos and enter the 2014 NBA Draft, Kirk's father told the Albuquerque Journal's Geoff Grammer. Kirk's decision was first reported by UNM website The Lobo Lair.

The 7'0, 250-pound junior from Los Alamos, N.M., averaged 13.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game as a junior this past season.

Kirk is not projected to be taken in either the 2014 or 2015 mock drafts from Draft Express or NBADraft.net, but is listed by ESPN's Chad Ford ($) as the 132nd-ranked prospect on the board and the 16th-best player at his position.

Kirk helped UNM to a 27-7 season in 2013-14 that ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where the No. 7-seeded Lobos fell to No. 10 seed Stanford. In that game, a 58-53 loss for the Lobos, Kirk struggled against a physical Cardinal front line that included 7' center Stefan Nastic and athletic 6'10 forward Dwight Powell. Kirk went 0-for-3 from the field and fouled out in 26 minutes of play.

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The big man didn't see any significant increases in his overall statistics from his sophomore to junior seasons aside from an increase in his shot-blocking, but he is viewed as a large yet agile athlete who has shown flashes of expanding his offensive game. He has the tools to grow into a pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop threat at the NBA level.

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