Florida’s Tyus plans to enter NBA draft

By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP)Florida could have another player leaving early.

Forward Alex Tyus, the team’s leading rebounder, plans to make himself

eligible for the NBA draft. The junior from St. Louis has not filed

early entry paperwork, but team spokesman Fred Demarest said Wednesday

he plans to do so this week.

Tyus doesn’t

plan to hire an agent, meaning he will have until May 8 to withdraw his

name and return to school for his senior season. The Gainesville Sun

first reported Tyus’ decision.

Tyus is the

latest in a long list of players to leave Florida early in recent

years. Guard Ray Shipman announced his intention to transfer two weeks

ago, becoming the eighth player to leave coach Billy Donovan’s program

in the last two years.

Center Marreese

Speights, forward Jonathan Mitchell and guard Jai Lucas left the

program following the 2008 season. Guard Nick Calathes, forward Allan

Chaney, center Eloy Vargas and DeShawn Painter left in 2009.

Tyus could be next.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pounder averaged 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds this

season. It’s unclear whether he would even get drafted since he has

struggled to play defense and is considered too small to play power

forward in the NBA. It’s also unlikely he would improve his draft stock

by staying in school.

Tyus was in a

similarly indecisive situation last year. He announced last April he

was leaving the Gators and transferring, but he changed his mind about

a week later.

He has started 70 consecutive

games for Florida, which has center Vernon Macklin and forwards

Chandler Parsons and Erik Murphy returning this fall. The Gators also

could have center Kenny Kadji back after he missed most of this season

with a back injury.

Donovan has highly

touted forwards Patric Young and Casey Prather arriving on campus this

summer, giving him plenty of frontcourt depth with or without Tyus.

04/07/10 08:33 pm ET