Ekpe Udoh has decided to enter the NBA Draft, opting not to return to the Baylor Bears for his senior season. Fans of the rejuvenated program were holding out hope Udoh would return to be matched up with fellow senior Lacedarius Dunn to try to lead Baylor to the Final Four - but it appears it was not meant to be.
Udoh joins a long list of early entrants into this year's draft, but after a highlight filled season and a great run in the NCAA tourney, Udoh felt the time was right for him as well.
Udoh came to Baylor after a successful stint at the University of Michigan, where he broke Chris Webber's blocked shots record. It didn't take long for Udoh to replicate the same at Baylor, breaking Brian Skinner's record with 133 blocks on the season.
In addition to the defense, Udoh added a diverse offensive attack to his skills, netting him Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors, along with 2nd team All Big 12 and a bevy of other honors from media outlets across the country.
The man whose middle name is Friday and whose nickname is the Nightmare, certainly lived up to his calling by bothering opponents all year long. Now he will have the chance to do that on the next level, where his length and offensive skills he picked up under the tutelege of the Baylor coaching staff will certainly come in handy on someone's NBA roster.
All hope is not lost for next year's Baylor Bears. Senior Lacedarius Dunn will have a chance to be the player of the year in the Big 12, and incoming McDonald's All American Perry Jones figures to add even more talent to a lineup featuring returning key players Quincy Acy, Anthony Jones, and A.J. Walton. But there's no doubt with Udoh next year's Baylor team would have been that much more dangerous. At the end of the day, Baylor fans, teammates, and coaches are proud to send another Bear to the NBA and look forward to seeing Udoh do well on the next level.