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Thread: 2010 NBA Draft

  1. #1

    2010 NBA Draft

    Kansas’ Cole Aldrich leaving early for NBA

    By DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Cole Aldrich, fighting back tears, said Monday he’ll skip his senior year at Kansas and head for the NBA.

    The 6-11 center, who averaged almost a double-double for the Big 12 champions, is projected by most experts as a high first-round pick.

    “The last three years have been pretty special,” he said.

    Blessed with a wingspan greater than most men his height, Aldrich averaged 11.3 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who were the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before they were upset by Northern Iowa. He also set a team record with 125 blocks.

    The Jayhawks are still waiting for a decision by freshman swing man Xavier Henry, their second-leading scorer.

    It would have been a surprise if Aldrich had elected to remain in school. His father, Walter Aldrich, is a construction worker who’s been put out of a job by the recession.

    “We’ve known this was going to happen since last year,” said coach Bill Self. “To be real candid with everybody, and I think Cole would agree with this, I would strongly discourage him from coming back.

    “I think he paid his dues here and I do think it is time for him to move forward into another chapter. He has made a lot of sacrifices—his family has— to come back in a time when he didn’t have to. We’re all very proud of him.”

    Aldrich, a native of the Minneapolis area, said he planned to hire an agent soon.

    “First of all, I want to thank everybody just for the opportunity I’ve had here,” said Aldrich. “It’s been a fun one.”

    Aldrich referred to his paternal grandmother, who died during this past season after a long illness.

    “I don’t want to get choked up or anything, but the last three years have been pretty special. It’s been a lot of highs, a few lows with my grandma…”

    He paused and looked down.

    “It’s been a special time for me and my family. I’ve talked with them extensively. We went through somewhat of the same process last year in figuring out what I wanted to do. I think my time has come in my life to change the chapter and go from one great chapter to hopefully start another great chapter in life.”

    Aldrich and senior guard Sherron Collins, who are close friends, made a joint decision last spring to return this season and pursue an NCAA championship. But that was thwarted when Northern Iowa upset them in just the second round.

    He was a reserve on the 2008 national championship team.

    “We were all upset that it had to end so short,” he said. “Being a part of a team that went and played all six games and then playing three games last year, we had high goals. But those goals are going to be there again. And I hope the team next year is going to be there again. I’m really going to support those guys.”

    Aldrich, an academic All-American, was named to The Associated Press third-team All-America squad on Monday.

    “He’s represented himself and this school in a way that has been nothing but first class,” said Self. “He’s going to go ahead and finish up school and get his degree. He promised us that.”

    Self said Aldrich’s projected draft position was “almost irrlevant right now with Cole.”

    “I think we all know that he’s going to go pretty high,” Self said. “Whether he goes five or 14, I don’t really know. I think so much of it, and Cole will agree with this, will be dependent on what other bigs are in the draft and when certain teams draft in need of a big.”

  2. #2

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    James Anderson of Oklahoma State is also leaving for the draft.
    What you grinning at Pyscho?

  3. #3

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    Wake Forest's Aminu declares for NBA draft, will hire agent

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu declared for the NBA draft on Thursday and announced he will hire an agent, ensuring his departure with two years of eligibility remaining.

    The 6-foot-9 Aminu averaged 15.8 points this season and became the first Wake Forest player since Tim Duncan in 1997 to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in rebounding at 10.7 per game.

    "This was a difficult decision," Aminu said in a statement. "But after talking it over with my family and my coaches, I believe now is the right time for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA."

    Coach Dino Gaudio said he did extensive research with NBA executives and believes Aminu is making the right choice. The Norcross, Ga., native is widely projected to be a first-round pick.

    "I want to wish Al-Farouq all the best," Gaudio said. "I'm looking forward to following his progress in what will undoubtedly be a successful pro career."

    Aminu is the fifth Wake Forest player to leave early for the NBA. Rodney Rogers left after his junior season in 1993, and Chris Paul left after his sophomore campaign in 2005. James Johnson and Jeff Teague both left after their sophomore seasons last year.

    "I want to thank Wake Forest and the basketball program for all they have done for me the past two years," Aminu said. "I have had some great experiences and will miss the friends that I have made here. I'm excited to take the next step and begin my professional career."

  4. #4

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    Georgia Tech’s Lawal to enter NBA draft

    ATLANTA (AP)—Georgia Tech forward Gani Lawal says he is skipping his senior season to enter the NBA draft.

    Lawal helped lead Georgia Tech to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He returned for his junior season after considering his NBA options last year.

    Lawal says he is “ready to take the next step” in his career. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 13.1 points and 8.5 rebounds this season. He was third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in rebounds.

    Georgia Tech freshman Derrick Favors is a probable top-five pick but has not announced his plans for the NBA draft.

  5. #5

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    Gordon Hayward, a lottery pick or a mid to late first-rounder?? Some scouts are comparing his game to Larry Bird.
    What you grinning at Pyscho?

  6. #6

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    Cincinnati’s Stephenson to enter draft

    CINCINNATI (AP)—Cincinnati freshman Lance Stephenson is entering the NBA draft.

    The Big East’s rookie of the year announced on Wednesday that he’s going to hire an agent, forfeiting his remaining college eligibility. The 6-foot-5 guard from New York led the conference in scoring by a freshman with 12.3 points per game during a highly inconsistent season.

    He finished strong, averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds over the final four games. As the season wound down, Stephenson said repeatedly that he planned to return for his sophomore season because he hadn’t met his own expectations.

    He could have substantially increased his draft status by staying for at least one more year and improving his all-around game. Stephenson struggled with his outside shot much of the season.

    Stephenson understands that he’s not going to be a top pick in the draft.

    “I’ve heard from people that Lance needs to stay,” coach Mick Cronin said. “Lance understands he needs to develop as a player. He’s going to have a chance to do that as a professional. It’s a risk, but everything is a risk.”

    Cronin flew to New York and met with Stephenson and his family to discuss the decision.

    “They understand he could have played two more years and tried to be a top-five pick, but their family circumstances are what they are,” Cronin said. “He has a family that needs help.”
    What you grinning at Pyscho?

  7. #7

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    Kansas freshman Henry going to NBA
    By DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Wiping away tears, Kansas freshman Xavier Henry said Wednesday he’s headed for the NBA draft because his coaches have helped him get ready.

    Averaging almost 14 points and five rebounds, the 6-foot-6 guard was the second-leading scorer for a team that won a sixth straight Big 12 championship and was ranked No. 1 most of the season, before getting upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament by Northern Iowa.

    “I think coach prepared me as well as he can,” said Henry, flanked by his brother, C.J., and coach Bill Self. “He kept me confident throughout the whole season even when I went through slumps. He got my mindset ready to be able to play with anybody.”

    Henry said he agonized over the decision even though it had been widely assumed that he would be Kansas’ first one-and-done player.

    “People who really know me knew it would be a tough decision either way because they know I love people and once I start bonding with people that it’s real hard for me to let go,” he said.

    “The people outside looking in, they probably had no idea what I was thinking.”

    A smooth left-handed shooter who scored mostly from the outside, Henry was a starter from the opening day on a team that finished 32-3. He joins two other starters from the Big 12 champions who plan to enter the draft: senior guard Sherron Collins and junior center Cole Aldrich, who announced last week that he would skip his senior season.

    Self termed it a “happy day” that his prize guard had an opportunity to build a good life for himself.

    “I’m not going to lose sleep over losing these three guys,” he said. “I’m going to be happy for them.”

    Henry’s father, mother and aunt were all scholarship basketball players at Kansas, a point Self stressed when he began recruiting the Oklahoma City native not long after he entered high school. The brothers first decided to play for John Calipari at Memphis and C.J. was already there last year when Calipari left for Kentucky.

    A short time later, the brothers opted for Kansas.

    C.J., who spent several years in the New York Yankees organization before giving up baseball, barely played this season. He sat next to his brother for the announcement but declined to talk about his future.

    Xavier Henry teared up and dabbed at his eyes throughout the news conference.

    “My teammates and coaches really helped me grow up this year,” he said. “They helped me grow up as a man. My family stuck by me the whole time. I’m thankful for that. I think I’m more prepared now than I would have been out of high school from a work ethic standpoint and just from a mindset standpoint. It’s a great thing to play here. It’s an unbelievable place to go to school and I wouldn’t take it back for anything.”

    Even though he was one of the most highly sought players ever to sign with Kansas, Henry proved a good teammate who never tried to hog the ball or the spotlight.

    Speculation varies as to how high he might go in the draft.

    “I’ve heard everything from eighth to 28th,” he said. “But as long as I work hard, I’m going to get what I deserve. That’s what I believe.”

    Self said he was not sorry to recruit a player that the coach had little chance of keeping more than one year.

    “I think it’s definitely worth it to have a guy in your program for just one year if he’s a guy with the character of Xavier,” Self said.

    “Regardless of what the perception was before he got to school here, we talked a lot and he was going to come to school here to be at Kansas and make the most of his college experience, and whenever the time was right, the time would be right. That was the understanding. This is not a sad day for us because we anticipated this could probably happen. We prepared for this.”
    What you grinning at Pyscho?

  8. #8

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    Ohio State’s Turner giving up senior year for NBA
    By RUSTY MILLER, AP Sports Writer

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—After collecting almost every national player of the year honor, Ohio State’s Evan Turner is skipping his senior season to test himself in the NBA.

    The 6-foot-7 point guard is expected to be a top-three pick in the June 24 draft. Yet he said his decision wasn’t an easy one.

    “This is the toughest thing I had to do,” he said, his voice breaking. “But I was blessed with this decision and I have a great opportunity. I’m going to turn a leaf over and go on to the next stage of my life.”

    The Chicago native averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6 assists while shooting 52 percent from the field, 36.4 percent behind the arc and 76 percent at the line.

    Turner was moved to point guard before the season, a decision by coach Thad Matta that raised some eyebrows because Turner had never played the position and had been prone to making mistakes with the ball.

    But with Turner leading the way the Buckeyes went a surprising 29-8 (second-most wins in school history); won a share of the Big Ten title; took the conference tournament championship; and advanced to the NCAA tournament round of 16 before falling to Tennessee.

    Even Matta said he knew it was time for Turner to make the leap to the next level.

    “I told him up front, I’m OK if you go,” he said. “I said, ‘Coach Matta wants you back, but Thad Matta is OK if you go.’ (It’s) knowing what’s right for him.”

    Turner said it wasn’t until late in the season that his mind wandered to his decision.

    “February hit and I kind of started thinking a little bit about it,” he said. “I was in a win-win situation. I felt like if I would have come back we could have done big things, and also moving on and going to the NBA I could do good things. I had to look at what was going to make me happy.”

    A first-team All-American, Turner had a huge year despite missing 4 1/2 weeks with broken bones in his back. He was injured while dunking during a game on Dec. 5, and had to go through extensive rehab before returning. The Buckeyes were just 3-3 without him.

    He said the injury had little effect on his decision.

    “You can’t really tell what’s going to go on with fate,” Turner said. “I tried to make the decision as a grown man looking toward the future.”

    Turner has not hired an agent, but made it clear he is not waffling.

    “I felt that whatever I did, I had to have two feet in,” he said. “I had to be committed. This is the decision I’m committed (to).”

    Before the injury, he had triple-doubles in two of the Buckeyes’ first five games. Even in the second round of the NCAA tournament, he flirted with another triple-double with 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists against Georgia Tech.

    A near-unanimous pick for Big Ten player of the year after leading the league in scoring, rebounding and finishing second in assists, he guided Ohio State to wins in 16 of its final 18 games heading into the NCAA tournament.

    The conference tournament provided his signature moment. He took an inbounds pass, dribbled to just past midcourt and hit a 37-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat archrival Michigan 69-68 in the quarterfinals. Two days later, he had 31 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as the Buckeyes beat Minnesota to win the tournament.

    The Associated Press Player of the Year this season said it wasn’t up to him how he would be remembered.

    “The people who guard (you), they pretty much build your legacy,” he said. “You don’t build your own legacy. We’ll see in 10 or 15 years.”

    Not even the top player on his high school team (Illinois’ Demetri McCamey was considered more of a blue-chipper), Turner set a record by being chosen Big Ten player of the week 10 times during his career, including an unprecedented seven times this season.

    Turner foundered early in his college career, unsure of what his role was in Matta’s offense. But he sure came around.

    Ohio State honors national players of the year by putting their numbers on a banner hanging from the ceiling of Value City Arena. Turner, the Naismith Award winner, will join such luminaries as Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, Gary Bradds and Jim Jackson in that honor.

    Because he declared for the NBA draft before an April 12 deadline, his departure will not lead to Ohio State receiving an Academic Progress Rate penalty. The basketball program was penalized after the late withdrawals of Greg Oden (2007) and Kosta Koufos (200.

    The third pick in June’s draft is guaranteed more than $7 million for the first two years of his contract, the second pick nearly $8 million and the top pick almost $9 million.

    Ohio State has a strong recruiting class, led by the Naismith Award winner at the high school level, 6-9 Jared Sullinger of Columbus’ Northland High School.

    “I had great times here, but I leave the program in great hands,” Turner said. “Obviously we have a lot of great players coming in and a lot of great players right now. We’re going to stay on top.”
    What you grinning at Pyscho?

  9. #9

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    Wall among 5 Wildcats heading to NBA

    By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)—Freshman All-Americans John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are among five Kentucky players who have declared for the NBA draft.

    Junior forward Patrick Patterson, freshman guard Eric Bledsoe and freshman center Daniel Orton are also entering the draft.

    Wall and Cousin are expected to be among the first few players selected.

    The five player comprised the core of a team that went 35-3 this season and won the Southeastern Conference regular season and conference tournament titles before falling to West Virginia in the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament.

    Coach John Calipari said he met with each player individually and encouraged them to gauge their draft prospects.

    Players have until May 8 to change their minds.

  10. #10

    Re: 2010 NBA Draft

    Texas guard Bradley to declare for NBA draft

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—Texas freshman guard Avery Bradley will declare himself eligible for the NBA draft, but he doesn’t plan to hire an agent.

    Bradley said Thursday that he’ll stay enrolled in class this semester and will schedule workouts around his schedule. By not signing with an agent, he could withdraw from the draft and return to the Longhorns next season without losing eligibility.

    Bradley averaged 11.6 points last season for Texas, which reached No. 1 for the first time in school history before plummeting out of the polls.

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