Kansas sophomore big man Udoka Azubuike will enter NBA Draft but not sign with an agent
If Azubuike leaves for good, Kansas will lose all five of its 2017-18 starters
The 7-foot, 280-pound Azubuike (one of the largest humans in college basketball), is going to get ample feedback before making a decision. If he leaves for good, it will mean Kansas loses all of its starters from last season. The Jayhawks are currently ranked No. 1 in .
"I'm going to wait and see where I stand among other bigs out there," Azubuike said. "I appreciate everyone's support, but I'm not saying goodbye. I'm saying I want to find out. Like many other players, I'm curious. I improved a lot this past season. All my teammates and all my coaches have helped me to grow in all areas of my life and I really appreciate what they did for me to get to this point."
Azubuike would be a likely candidate for invitation to the NBA Draft combine, which is held May 16-20 in Chicago. The NCAA deadline to decide to return to school is May 30. Azubuike averaged 13 points and seven rebounds last season for the Jayhawks, who went 31-8, won both Big 12 titles, earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and made the Final Four.
"Udoka has been thinking about this since the end of the season and he feels it's in his best interest to declare and test the waters which we, as a staff, totally understand and encourage him to do," KU coach Bill Self said. "He's leaving the option to come back. Doke has improved a tremendous amount this year and we all look forward to seeing how his progression is until it is his time to make a decision on whether to stay in [the draft] or pull his name out."
Azubuike is a rarity: a true low-post power interior player. He has never attempted a 3-pointer in his college career. His 77 percent shooting was the best in college basketball last season. Many of Azubuike's 211 made field goals came off layups and dunks. He has undeniably made big strides in the past 18 months, but is his skill set good enough to warrant a team drafting him? There is skepticism among some scouts that Azubuike, with where his game is at now, can provide value to an NBA franchise.
With Azubuike making his intentions known, there is only a handful of big-time players still yet to decide,.
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