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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Bayless going pro

    Bayless going pro

    Jerryd Bayless will give up his remaining three years of college eligibility and go pro, according to a press release Saturday.

    “”I’ve thought carefully about my options since the end of the season, discussed it with my parents and others who could give me appropriate guidance, and made this decision with a clear mind,”” Bayless said in the release. “”I’m going to turn professional. It’s the right time for me to move on. I appreciate the opportunity I had to be part of the Arizona basketball team this year.””

    UA head coach Lute Olson, who did not coach the true freshman because of his season-long leave of absence, was upset at Bayless’ decision but knows he’ll do well at the next level.

    “”I’m disappointed because I didn’t have one year to work with him, to coach him,”” Olson said in the release. “”Jerryd’s going to be a great player in the NBA. He’s an unbelievable kid with great character, and he’s a great competitor.

    “”I wish him nothing but the best of luck and I know he will represent the University of Arizona and the state of Arizona very well in the future,”” Olson said.

    Bayless, a 6-foot-3, 199-pound guard was a third team All-America selection by rivals.com and a fourth-team pick by collegehoops.net. That marked the third such honor for the Phoenix native as he was voted a second-team All-American by Sports Illustrated earlier this month.

    Bayless averaged 19.7 points, 4.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds a game as a true freshman.

    No freshman in Arizona history has ever scored as many points in a season as Bayless’ 592. Furthermore, he became the first player in program history to score 30 or more points in three consecutive games when he accomplished the feat Feb. 10-16, scoring 33, 39 and 31.

    Bayless is the 11th Wildcat to declare early for the NBA Draft during the Olson era. The others were Brian Williams (1991), Mike Bibby (1998), Gilbert Arenas (2001), Jason Gardner (2001), Richard Jefferson (2001), Michael Wright (2001), Andre Iguodala (2004), Chris Rodgers (2005) and Mustafa Shakur (2006), and Marcus Williams (2007). Of that list, only Gardner, Rodgers and Shakur returned to school and completed their eligibility.

    Bayless is projected to be picked third in June’s NBA draft by draftexpress.com and fourth by NBAdraft.net and mynbadraft.com. ESPN’s Chad Ford has Bayless pegged as a No. 5 pick.

    The NBA draft will be held Thursday, June 26 Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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