Ebi will test pro waters, but could still be a Cat

The Wildcats were ecstatic when they lured Ndudi Ebi away from Duke, but now the nation's top prep power forward may not wear the cardinal and navy. Ebi has announced his intention to test his status in the NBA Draft.

Under a new NCAA rule, if Ebi does not hire an agent he can learn where his draft stock is at but still enroll in college if he is not comfortable where he would selected.

Wildcat coaches are obviously not happy that they are in position to potentially lose a recruit, but the coaches are publicly behind Ebi.

"We're behind him 100%," said Josh Pastner, Ebi's lead recruiter. "He's not doing anything wrong. This is the land of opportunity and he wants to test the waters."

Pastner indicated that Ebi told him that he wants to be an Arizona Wildcat and if he is not a sure Lottery pick or at least very close to it, that he'll be a Wildcat.

Ebi also told the staff that he is very interested in experiencing what it is like to be a college basketball player, but the money available to a potential lottery selection might be too tough to pass up.

The new rule will allow Ebi to work out for pro teams and get a good feel for where he will be drafted. The deadline to withdraw his name from the draft is June 19.

Ebi's parents have always been pro-education and have been fans of Lute Olson and his program. They are behind Ndudi's decision, but have said many times in the past that they want him to go to college.

The forward from Houston's Westbury Christian High, is considered one of the nation's top prep players. He averaged 23.3 points and 11.6 rebounds last season. College Basketball News has him as the #3 high school player and their Chris Monter cals him the "class' best shot blocker".

There are many questions about Ebi's pro readiness, but NBA teams draft on potential and could overlook some of his deficiencies. Ebi is a combo-forward who at this time is more suited to the post, but projects as a small forard in the NBA. He is 6-9, but at 190 pounds he needs to gain weight to play an 84 game NBA schedule. He has nice quickness and a good outside shot, but is not nearly polished enough to see time on the wing at this time on the pro level.

Ebi is working hard to gain strength and improve his game. In fact he was working with a personal trainer when Cat Tracks attempted to reach him for comment.

Ebi is the first Wildcat recruit to test the pro waters directly out of high school. Five Wildcats have declared early and Jason Gardner tested the waters after his sophomore season.

Discuss this story on the BASKETBALL MESSAGE BOARD

Wildcat Authority Top Stories