USF sophomore Rudd testing NBA Draft waters

19

March

One day after USF's memorable NCAA Tournament run ended, the Bulls had surprising news, as sophomore forward Victor Rudd announced he was forgoing his final two years and submitting his name for early entry into the NBA Draft.

"After meeting with my family, I have decided to forgo what would be my junior year at South Florida University (cq) and enter my name into the 2012 NBA Draft," Rudd was quoted as saying in an e-mail sent to the Times. "At this time, I will not be hiring an agent."

Rudd, a 6-foot-7 wing with versatility to hit 3-pointers and score with highlight-reel dunks, was USF's second-leading scorer at 9.2 points per game, and emerged as their most consistent scorer in the postseason, scoring at least 13 points in his final five games.

USF confirmed late Monday that Rudd was considering the NBA, but USF coach Stan Heath said he's "definitely keeping options open in regards to returning to USF after seeing what his options are with the NBA."

"We will do everything we can to help get accurate info for him so he can make a wise decision," Heath said in USF's release. "We are supportive of him, and he will not hire an agent."

Rudd, who has played only one season for the Bulls after transferring from Arizona State, thanked each of his coaches by name in the e-mail sent to the Times, as well as his teammates who gave the Bulls the first NCAA Tournament victories in the program's history this past week against California and Temple. USF lost 62-56 to Ohio on Sunday night in Nashville to end their postseason run.

"I had a blast and I am sorry we came up short," Rudd said in the e-mail. "I will not be making any future comments on the matter and will begin training immediately in preparation for NBA workouts."

Ninety minutes later, he addressed the matter in USF's release: "I want to test the waters and see how I might do in the draft, without hiring an agent," he said. "The USF staff has been very supportive in this process."

It's the third year in a row a USF player has considered leaving early -- in 2010, guard Dominique Jones was a first-round draft pick and won an NBA title with the Mavericks; last year Augustus Gilchrist said he was submitting his name for consideration, but ended up returning for his senior year.

[Last modified: Monday, March 19, 2012 10:17pm]

    

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