Speights Makes it Official

The speculation has been circulating ever since Marreese Speights decided to test the NBA waters. After reports surfaced yesterday that the Gator sophomore was definitely heading to the NBA, the University of Florida made it official today.

Marreese Speights began the process on April 8, a week after Florida lost in the NIT semifinals to Massachusetts.

"I want to thank Coach Donovan and the entire staff for helping me develop my game and become a better player over the past two years," said Speights in a release issued by the UF Sports Information Department. "Even though I'm leaving the University of Florida early, I'll forever be a Gator."

"I had the opportunity to speak with Marreese this morning and based on the information he is receiving, he informed me of his intentions to remain in the NBA Draft," said Billy Donovan in the release. "I completely support his decision, this is what he wants to do. I wish him nothing but the best of luck on June 26 and in the future."

Speights finished second on the team in scoring during his sophomore season averaging 14.5 points per game after averaging 4.2 as a freshman backing up Joakim Noah and Al Horford. He led Florida in rebounding pulling down 8.1 boards a game and also led the squad in blocks (49) and double-doubles (10).

Speights finished the season with a strong run in the National Invitational Tournament. He averaged 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds during the four games, posting double-doubles in the final two games of the season. Against UMass, Speights scored 16 while grabbing a career high 18 rebounds.

The NBA Draft will be held on June 26 in New York.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski

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