Antonio Lawrence Leaves SJSU. (Enters NBA Draft)

``In my conversations with Antonio, I strongly advised against making himself available,'' said head Coach Phil Johnson. ``I made it clear to Antonio and his mother that he is not ready for the NBA, but they've chosen to explore it.''

Antonio Lawrence has left school and will enter the NBA draft, Spartans Coach Phil Johnson said Friday.

Lawrence, a 6-foot-4 forward, is considered a marginal prospect. If he isn't drafted, he will attempt to play overseas or in the NBA developmental league.

He is not expected to return to school.

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is Monday.

``In my conversations with Antonio, I strongly advised against making himself available,'' said SJSU head coach, Phil Johnson. ``I made it clear to Antonio and his mother that he is not ready for the NBA, but they've chosen to explore it.''

Lawrence's mother is stated to be having financial trouble a source close to the family said.

Neither Brazle nor Lawrence could be reached for comment.

Lawrence averaged 11.3 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds for the Spartans, who finished 7-21 and had the smallest team in the Western Athletic Conference.

Johnson said incoming recruits will offset Lawrence's departure and bolster the frontcourt.

The best newcomer is Michael McFadden, a 6-5 guard from San Jose City College.

``He'll easily replace Antonio,'' Johnson said.

The Spartans also signed two 6-6 forwards: D.J. Brown, from Imperial Valley College, and Aaron Watson, from Ventura College.

(The Mercury News provided data for this story).


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