Phil Pressey leaving Missouri for NBA

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Despite an up-and-down junior season, Missouri guard Phil Pressey has decided to forgo his final year in college and head to the NBA.

"Many college basketball players dream of this day, but when I had to finally make this decision it was difficult because it means I am leaving a place I love so much," Pressey said in a statement released by the university. "I wish we could have brought home a national championship banner, but coming to Mizzou was the best decision of my life. This is a special place and I will always be a Tiger."

Pressey, a 5-foot-11 point guard, is Missouri's all-time leader in assists and also has the single-season record for assists. This season, he averaged 11.9 points and 7.0 assists and was named first-team All-SEC.

One of the quicker guards in the country, Pressey is able to get into the lane at will. He is aggressive at both ends of the floor, and possesses very good vision. However, his decision-making is a major question mark, especially late in games. He's not a very good outside shooter, and also takes ill-advised shots. His size is also a negative.

Jeff Goodman of has him ranked as the No. 8 point guard in this year's draft, No. 48 overall. He is likely to be a mid-to-late second-round pick.

With Pressey gone, Missouri will take an even bigger step back than anticipated. Laurence Bowers, Alex Oriakhi and Keion Bell were already leaving, meaning Frank Haith has just one of his top five scorers back from this season. Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross will handle most of the scoring responsibility, while Tony Criswell is the primary frontcourt returner. Incoming freshmen Johnathan Williams III, Wes Clark and Torren Jones could get immediate minutes, as will JC transfer Keanau Post. One player to keep an eye on is Tulsa transfer Jordan Clarkson, who should be a factor right off the bat.

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