Chapel Hill, N.C. Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington put off a jump to the NBA last season so they could improve their draft standing and make another run at a national championship. Now with that title in hand, the juniors figure it’s the perfect time to give pro ball another try.
They announced Thursday that they would enter the draft again, ending their college careers a few weeks after leading the Tar Heels to their fifth NCAA championship.
Both players declared last year so they could work out at the predraft camp and for teams before deciding to return to school, a “testing the waters” option they can use only once. But considering the way both performed in North Carolina’s dominating NCAA Tournament run, their departures seemed almost a certainty.
“Winning a championship definitely had a lot to do with it,” Ellington said.
Lawson was a second-team All-American and unseated Tyler Hansbrough as Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. He was second on the team in scoring at nearly 17 points per game, and had 21 points and a championship game-record eight steals in the 89-72 win against Michigan State at Ford Field in Detroit.
Ellington was third in scoring at about 16 points despite a shooting slump that lasted the first two months of the season. But he ended up as the most outstanding player of the Final Four after scoring a combined 39 points against Villanova in the semifinals and against the Spartans on April 6.
In the NCAAs, Ellington averaged 19 points while shooting 55 percent and 53 percent from three-point range.
UConn freshman declares
Storrs, Conn. — Connecticut freshman basketball player Ater Majok, whose name has come up in recruiting allegations against the school, has declared for the NBA Draft. Majok, a 6-foot-10 forward, says he won’t hire an agent.
Curry to enter NBA Draft
Davidson, N.C. — Davidson guard Stephen Curry will skip his senior season and take his sweet shooting stroke to the NBA. After weeks struggling to decide, the nation’s leading scorer announced Thursday that he’ll enter the NBA Draft, where he could be a lottery pick. The 6-foot-3 Curry moved to point guard this season and averaged 28.6 points. He had 15 games of 30 or more points and three of 40 or more.