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Outlander
03-30-2012, 08:04 AM
UNC's Barnes, Henson, Marshall entering NBA draft

North Carolina underclassmen decided they wouldn't put off their goal of playing in the NBA any longer.

The school said Thursday that Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall will enter the draft, ending a two-year run in which the Tar Heels made deep NCAA tournament runs only to fall a game short of the Final Four each time.

The school didn't state whether the three planned to hire an agent in its release announcing the departures, though it appears they're in the draft to stay.

"It's a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball," coach Roy Williams said in a statement. "On a very small stage, it's a sad day for me because I won't get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well."

Henson was a freshman during Williams' worst season as a head coach in 2010. Barnes arrived a year later as the nation's No. 1 recruit, though it wasn't until Marshall took over at point guard midway through that season that the Tar Heels took off.

UNC lost to Kentucky in a regional final that year, but Barnes, Henson and rising senior Tyler Zeller put off entering the draft for another shot at a championship despite being likely first-round picks.

The Tar Heels (32-6) were the preseason No. 1 and won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship for a second straight year, but they fell in the NCAA regional final again amid a dizzying run of injuries - including wrist injuries to both Henson and Marshall.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/basketball/ncaa/03/29/UNC.Draft.ap/index.html#ixzz1qYObScYD

Outlander
03-30-2012, 08:06 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/basketball/ncaa/mens-tournament/2012/03/26/duke.rivers.draft.ap/index.html

Duke's Rivers declares for draft, hiring agent

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Austin Rivers is leaving Duke after one season for the NBA draft.

The freshman guard announced his decision and plans to hire an agent on Monday after team officials said he spent the weekend discussing his future plans with his family at their home outside Orlando, Fla.

"Duke has prepared me for the challenges that are ahead both on and off the court," Rivers said in a statement issued by the school. "I have learned so much from the coaching staff and my teammates that will help me succeed at the next level."

The son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers averaged a team-leading 15.5 points and was a unanimous selection as the Atlantic Coast Conference's rookie of the year. He's just the third Duke freshman to lead the team in scoring after Johnny Dawkins in 1983 and Bill Sapp in 1945.

"Austin had a terrific year as a freshman and has put himself in a position to pursue his dream of being a great player in the NBA," coach Mike Krzyzewski said, adding that he supports the decision. "We look forward to watching him continue to develop and excel at the next level."

The top highlight of Rivers' only college season was a buzzer-beating 3-pointer last month that gave Duke an 85-84 victory at North Carolina. He scored a season-high 29 points in that game.

He's the fourth player to leave Duke after one season and the second one-and-done guard in two years after Cleveland made Kyrie Irving the No. 1 overall pick of last year's draft. The others are Corey Maggette in 1999 and Luol Deng in 2004.

Doc Rivers, speaking to reporters in Charlotte before the Celtics' game against the Bobcats on Monday night - before his son's decision was made public - said he thought his choice would be a good one no matter what he decided to do.

"Listen, going to the NBA if you're going to get drafted in the first round, that's good," Doc Rivers said. "Going back to Duke, that's good. So I don't know if you have a bad choice."

Outlander
04-05-2012, 09:29 AM
Sullinger gives up last 2 OSU years for NBA

By RUSTY MILLER, AP Sports Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—After guiding Ohio State to the Final Four, two-time All-American forward Jared Sullinger figured he might as well see what he could do for an NBA team.

The 6-foot-9 sophomore announced on Wednesday that he is giving up his final two seasons with the Buckeyes to make himself available for the NBA draft in June. Most projections have him going in the top 10 picks.

“Going to the Final Four with a team that many people said we weren’t good enough, weren’t strong enough, weren’t mentally tough enough, and still being able to get to the Final Four with all the ups and downs we had, I think that was tremendous for this basketball team,” Sullinger said, flanked by his parents and coach Thad Matta. “Once we got to the Final Four, we were trying to win it. But unfortunately, we fell short. I feel at peace with the decision I’m making.”

The Buckeyes lost to Kansas 64-62 in the national semifinals on Saturday.

Sullinger averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds a game while shooting 52 percent from the field, 77 percent at the line and 40 percent on 3-pointers while leading the Buckeyes to a 31-8 record and a Final Four berth. He was 63-10 as a starter.

“I’ve always said he’s one of the most intellectual players I’ve ever coached,” Matta said. “He came in that way as a freshman. The thing is that people don’t know he studies the game. Not only the college game, but the NBA game. He can tell you a lot about a lot of NBA issues. For him, the timing is definitely right.”

Read more here: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=ap-sullingersfuture

Joescoundrel
04-24-2012, 09:25 AM
While Anthony Davis seems the most obvious and safest Consensus Number 1 pick for this Draft Class, I cannot help but think that he is still just a 50-50 star. Yes, he has the height, length and freakish athletic ability that NBA teams covet. But then again so did the likes of Jermaine O'Neal, Al Harrington and Jonathan Bender, and how long did those guys take to pan out? Davis should do himself a favor and stay another year in college. Let's see if he can carry a team without Kidd-Gilchrist and Lamb helping him.

Joescoundrel
04-24-2012, 09:26 AM
Oh right, he would've had Nerlens Noel helping him had he stayed. So I guess we'll never know how good he is on his own.

Outlander
05-31-2012, 09:44 AM
Hornets win draft lottery, will pick No. 1 in NBA
By BRIAN MAHONEY | The Associated Press

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/hornets-win-draft-lottery-pick-010248411--nba.html;_ylt=ArgodZChDSLImtZl8NaXdsw5nYcB

NEW YORK (AP) New owner, and now a new star player coming to New Orleans.

And yet another loss - in a historic season full of them - for Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Hornets, recently sold by the NBA to Saints owner Tom Benson, won the NBA's draft lottery Wednesday and the No. 1 pick overall - which they almost certainly will use to pick Kentucky star Anthony Davis.

At least that's what the college player of the year is expecting. Moments after the Hornets won the lottery, Davis said he was looking forward to playing professionally in the place where he led the Wildcats to a national championship in April.

The good news for the Hornets comes after a difficult season in which they traded All-Star Chris Paul.

''Just a first step for us to winning it all,'' Benson said in a TV interview after the lottery.

The Hornets moved up from the fourth spot, where they had a 13.7 percent chance, to earn the pick.

The Bobcats, after going 7-59 for the worst winning percentage in NBA history, fell to the No. 2 pick. Washington will pick third and Cleveland fell one spot to fourth.

Charlotte had a 25 percent chance of grabbing the No. 1 pick, but instead will have to take the best player after Davis, possibly his teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

The team with the worst record hasn't won since Orlando drafted Dwight Howard in 2004.

The league bought the Hornets from owner George Shinn in December 2010 and the sale to Benson was completed in April. The NBA was criticized for the conflict of interest of a league owning a franchise, particularly when Commissioner David Stern blocked a trade that would have sent Paul to the Lakers in December, then approved another that landed Paul with the Clippers.

The ownership uncertainty hindered the Hornets, but they were in a celebrating mood Wednesday after earning the No. 1 pick for the first time since 1991, when they were still in Charlotte and took Larry Johnson.

''We've had a lot of good stuff happen to us in the last few weeks,'' coach Monty Williams said, referring also to the sale.

The Hornets also have the No. 10 pick.

The Nets were the other big loser when they stayed in the No. 6 spot. They owed their pick to Portland for this season's Gerald Wallace trade unless they moved into the top three.

Sacramento rounds out the top five of the draft, to be held June 28 in Newark, N.J.