Florida junior guard Matt Walsh became the second Gator to test the NBA waters on Wednesday and has declared his intentions to enter the 2005 NBA Draft, although he will not retain an agent, leaving his future options open. Teammate Anthony Roberson made a similar announcement earlier in the day.
"I've decided to enter my name in the NBA Draft but will not retain an agent," said Walsh. "I'm in a unique situation where I feel I have the opportunity to explore this further and collect more information. I truly love the University of Florida, but I feel I owe it to myself to see where I am right because it's my dream to be able to play professionally one day."
Walsh has earned All-SEC honors each of the past two seasons and finished second on the Gators in scoring for the second straight year, averaging 14.6 points per game. He was Second Team All-SEC from the coaches in 2004-05. The Holland, Pa., native led the Gators in three-point accuracy, hitting 42.6 percent from beyond the arc this season (69-162).
"Matt informed me today of his intentions to explore his NBA options," said Florida head coach Billy Donovan. "Matt wants to test the waters and receive an evaluation of where he's at in regards to NBA franchises. Once he's finished gathering that information, if he's not a first round draft pick, Matt has indicated he will come back to school."
Walsh earned MVP honors at the SEC Tournament, scoring 26 points in the final and earning SEC Tournament MVP honors as guided the Gators to their first title. Walsh averaged a team-high 19.3 games in the SEC Tournament and hit 44.8 percent from three-point range (13-29).
For Walsh it added to his MVP collection that includes the last three Orange Bowl Classics, as well as the 2003 MassMutual Tip-Off Classic where he torched Arizona for 27 points.
Walsh surpassed the 1,000-point barrier on Dec. 19 and has 1,301 points over his three-year career.
He and Roberson are the first Gators to declare for the NBA Draft early since both Mike Miller and Donnell Harvey did so in 2000 when each went on to be selected in the first round. They have until June 21 to decide if they will remain in the draft. The NBA Draft will be held on June 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Florida junior guard Anthony Roberson has declared his intentions to enter the 2005 NBA Draft, although he will not retain an agent, leaving his future options open.
"At this point in time I have decided to put my name into the NBA Draft," said Roberson. "I will continue to evaluate my situation and will not retain an agent. I am looking forward to gathering more information and will make a final decision at a later date."
Roberson earned First Team All-SEC honors for the second straight year and was the runner-up for SEC Player of the Year, as he helped the Gators to a 24-8 mark and the school's first SEC Tournament title.
"Anthony has made me aware of his intentions to enter the NBA Draft," said Florida head coach Billy Donovan. "He and I have visited on this on a number of occasions and I support him 100 percent in his decision to gather more information and explore this process further."
Roberson averaged 17.5 points per game on the season and led the SEC in scoring during league play at 20.8 points per game, the only player in the league to average better than 20 points per game. He was the only player in the league to score at least 15 points in all 16 conference games. Roberson had eight 20-point games and two 30-point games in league play.
The Saginaw, Mich., native hit 94 three-pointers on the season and has 267 over his career, second in school history and just seven shy of tying the school record of 274 held by former teammate Brett Nelson.
Roberson led the SEC in free throw percentage in 2004-05, connecting on 90.0 percent from the line and is UF's all-time leader in the category with a career mark of 86.4 percent, hitting 210-of-243 career attempts.
He is the first Gator to declare for the NBA Draft early since both Mike Miller and Donnell Harvey did so in 2000 when each went on to be selected in the first round. Roberson has until June 21 to decide if he will remain in the draft. The NBA Draft will be held on June 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.