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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

OU’s Griffin to enter NBA Draft

Sooners forward says he’ll forgo final two seasons

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

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— Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin will give up his final two years of eligibility and head to the NBA after a sophomore season that ended with him being recognized as college basketball’s top player.

Griffin announced his decision Tuesday at a campus news conference alongside coach Jeff Capel, saying it was time to take his game to the next level.

Griffin helped the Sooners win 30 games in a season for only the fifth time in school history, shattering the school records for double-doubles and rebounds along the way.

“It’s tough to walk away from something like this but at the same time, it’s a big opportunity and I felt like I was ready for it this year,” Griffin said.

After declaring last year that he would stay at Oklahoma for at least one more season, Griffin said he wanted to be able to contribute immediately in the NBA before he would turn pro.

For him to feel like he was “100 percent sure” that he was ready, he said he’d probably have to be in line to be the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Griffin couldn’t have done much more to make his case for that spot.

He was honored by The Associated Press and several other groups as college basketball’s player of the year after leading the nation with 30 double-doubles and 14.4 rebounds per game while also averaging a Big 12-best 22.7 points.

In the NCAA Tournament, he was even better — averaging 28.5 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Sooners to the regional finals, where they lost to eventual national champion North Carolina.

Comments

mojayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Good decision, Blake! (glad to see you go). As of today, nbadraft.net does even have Cole on the board (last week, he was top 10). Sherron is still mid second round. I suspect that Cole is off the board because of his leaning toward staying (according to his father), but I was surprised to see him off the board since he is still technically undecided.

Does anyone else have any more news about Cole?

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 9 months ago

No surprise here...when you're slated as the No. 1-overall pick, you'd be foolish not to go.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 9 months ago

Too bad we never got to play him. win or lose.

kerbyd 10 years, 9 months ago

Cole is still listed in the top five of four of the nba mock drafts that I saw. Of course, this was among the dozens of mock drafts out there.

Greg Lux 10 years, 9 months ago

Cole wants a few important (to him) things.. To be NBA ready he needs to add 20lbs of lower body muscle which he can build by staying at KU and working out. Hard to believe but he is still a growing boy ! .. He will have a lot better chance of being a top 1 or 2 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, and his chances of not being beaten up by the NBA schedule and players will be a lot less with the additional body strength and scoring moves. He wants another ring and this team can get it with him. His father really wants him to stay at KU one more year and improve his body and skills. He has that NCAA NC taste in his mouth and he wants another bite of the apple. If X comes on board I would say its a sure thing that Cole stays for his junior year. Cole is a winner and he knows the best way to win is be ready to compete when you go to the NBA. He has seen what happens to the guys who have gone early and I don't think he want to be one of them. He want to be an impact players the moment he steps of the floor.

Rock Chalk

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