Gators Impacted by NBA Draft Declarations

The deadline for players to put their name in the NBA Draft has passed, but players who haven't hired an agent have until May 8 to pull their names out of the draft. Only three SEC teams had a player declare for the draft, and Florida State forward Chris Singleton's departure makes it four teams that affect the Gators.

The team who took the big hit was Kentucky, but that didn't surprise anyone. The team's leading scorer Brandon Knight put his name in after averaging 17.3 points while shooting 37.7% from behind the three-point line.

Forward Terrence Jones put his name in the draft after averaging 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds for a thin frontline. Jones and senior center Josh Harrellson were the only two big rebounding threats on the team, but Jones was also able to stretch the floor by hitting 26 three-pointers. He led the team with 72 blocks.

DeAndre Liggins looks to forgo his senior season and head into the draft after averaging 8.6 points and four rebounds. Liggins became a dominant defender for the Wildcats late in the season and despite shooting 39.1% from behind the three-point line, it's his defense that has him as a potential NBA prospect.

Kentucky actually has a fourth player to put his name in the NBA Draft, but he didn't suit up for them this season. Center Enes Kanter was ruled ineligible, but he is projected to be a top pick this summer.

Before Bruce Peal was fired, it already looked as if Tennessee players Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson would at least test the waters of the NBA Draft. They put their names in, and Cuonzo Martin was brought in from Missouri State as the new head coach.

Harris averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game during his freshman season. As the season went on, Harris showed better range on his jump shot and was able to step out at hit shots consistently.

Hopson led the Volunteers with 17 points per game, putting up 20 and 22 points in his two matchups with the Gators this season.

Georgia head coach Mark Fox is forced to start over after losing the Bulldogs two best players early. Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins both announced for the NBA Draft, but they also clarified that they will keep their names in the draft and not come back to school.

Thompkins led the team with 16.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He was the team's dominant post player.

Leslie earned his way into highlight shows almost nightly with dunks and displays of his athleticism. He averaged 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds as a slasher for the Bulldogs. His jump shot needs some work from the outside, but he has athleticism that can't be taught.

Florida State will lose its most talented player in Chris Singleton, who averaged 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds. He played in only 28 games last season because of injury, and when he had to miss games near the end of the season, the Seminoles actually played better without him playing significant minutes.


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