As speculated on Wednesday, Kansas sophomore wing Brandon Rush has announced that he will enter the NBA Draft. “I’m ready to take the next step,” Rush told the Kansas City Star Thursday evening. “I’m ready to make a better life for me and my family.” However, he will not hire an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Jayhawks for his junior season. “Right now I want to keep my options open,” Rush continued. “I'm going into it with a free mind. I don't have anything to lose. I can come back to school or I can stay [in the draft]. It's a plus-plus either way." Rush is projected by most mock drafts as a middle first-round pick. He averaged 13.8 points and 5.6 rebounds this past season, helping lead the Jayhawks to the Elite Eight.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, USC junior guard Gabe Pruitt has declared for the NBA Draft. However, he will not hire an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Trojans for his senior season. I'm looking to hear I'll be a first-round pick because of the guaranteed money," Pruitt said. "If it's not looking like I'll be a first-round pick, I'll obviously stay in school. If it is, I'll have to look over my options." Pruitt is considering a bubble first-rounder by most mock drafts. He averaged 12.5 points and 4.3 assists this past season after missing the first eleven games due to academic suspension, but he improved his stock greatly in the NCAA Tournament.
According to Rivals.com, Mississippi State sophomore wing Jamont Gordon has declared for the NBA Draft. However, he will not hire an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Bulldogs for his junior season. "I've been working all my life to play in the NBA, and I want to make sure the NBA people know who I am," Gordon said. "I'd like to find out where I am with my game." Most mock drafts do not include Gordon, although many feel as if he is a borderline first-round pick in 2008. He averaged 16.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists this past season.
According to FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman, suspended Boston College center Sean Williams has announced his intentions to enter the NBA Draft. "I did it [on Wednesday]," Williams told FOXSports.com. Williams was suspended twice before being kicked off the team on January 17th. His permanent suspension reportedly came after failing multiple drug tests. He had previously spent 90 days in a drug rehabilitation program after getting arrested for marijuana possession. Despite his off-the-court problems, Williams could be a borderline first-round pick due to his shot-blocking ability. He averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.0 blocks this past season.
According to FOX Sports, UC-Riverside is planning on hiring former Kansas State head coach Jim Wooldridge as their new head coach. Sources close to the situation say that an official announcement will come early next week. Wooldridge will replace David Spencer, who resigned last month after missing the season due to medical reasons. Interim coach on Webb took over, going 7-24 this past season. Prior to coaching the Wildcats, Wooldridge was the head coach at Louisiana Tech, Texas State, and Central Missouri. Wooldridge, who has a career record of 312-237, was chosen over former San Diego coach Brad Holland and ex-St. Bonaventure head coach Jan Van Breda Kolff.
Jeffrey Jordan, son of Michael Jordan, has announced that he will walk-on to play basketball at Illinois. He turned down scholarship offers from Valparaiso and Loyola (Chicago) to be a preferred walk-on with the Fighting Illini. "Illinois is a great school with a strong basketball program,'' he said. “I look forward to receiving a great education at Illinois, and I also look forward to proving that I can play and compete at the Big 10 level." Most recruiting analysts see Jordan as a mid-major prospect, rated as a three-star recruit by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.
Bryan Graham of CSTV.com discusses the draft decisions made by many key players. He writes about five guys that are going but should stay; five guys that are staying but should go; and five “interesting cases”. He lists Josh McRoberts and Thaddeus Young among the players that should stay; Darren Collison and D.J. White with the players that should go; and says that Sean Singletary and Julian Wright are both interesting cases.
Steve Megargee of Rivals.com writes about South Carolina’s optimism heading into next season. The Gamecocks are excited because of the addition of five transfers, including Zam Frederick from Georgia Tech, Devan Downey from Cincinnati, and Mike Jones from Syracuse—all native South Carolinians. "We can win the SEC tournament," said Frederick. "We're going to try to make the NCAA Tournament.”
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