Mizzou junior Jordan Clarkson tosses his hat into NBA Draft ring

Mizzou guard Jordan Clarkson announces he'll go pro early.

Jordan Clarkson played one season at Missouri before announcing his intention to enter the NBA Draft.

Dak Dillon / USA TODAY Sports

To the surprise of few, Missouri junior guard Jordan Clarkson announced Monday morning that he is passing up his senior season and applying for the NBA Draft.

"It wasn't an easy decision," Clarkson said in a statement released by the university. "I have so much respect for everyone here and the impact you have made on my life has been immense. However, it is a decision that I've thought through and discussed with my family on numerous occasions. Having their full support makes this decision much easier."

Where or if he will be drafted is another story. While ESPN reported that some NBA executives view Clarkson as a first-round pick, his play toward the end of the season did little to improve his stock.

Clarkson averaged 18.8 points on 47.3 percent shooting and went for 20 points in 14 of the Tigers' first 26 games. But he did not go for 20 in any of their last nine games, when he averaged 13.7 points and shot 36 percent.

A transfer from Tulsa who played one season for the Tigers, Clarkson said his decision to leave school was made easier by the fact that he is scheduled to graduate this spring.

Junior guard Jabari Brown, who led the Tigers in scoring, could be the next Missouri player to announce his intentions on leaving school early. Underclassmen have until April 15 to declare for the draft.