Florida’s Tyus plans to enter NBA draft

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