Three Longhorns entering NBA draft
Texas players Tristan Thompson, Jordan Hamilton and Cory Joseph have all declared for the NBA draft.
Hamilton, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward who led the Longhorns in scoring last season, plans to sign with an agent, which would immediately end his college eligibility.
”My family and I really took our time with this decision and waited to get a good feel of what this year’s draft class would look like and where I can be drafted. With all the information we received, it is best for me to move forward now and pursue this opportunity,” Hamilton said.
Thompson, a 6-8 forward and Joseph, a 6-3 guard, both were freshman last season. They plan to submit their names but will hold off on signing with an agent, according to Texas officials. That will allow them to return to Texas if they choose to.
The NBA deadline for underclassmen to submit their names to the NBA is Sunday. The NCAA allows them to withdraw by May 8 and still maintain their college eligibility.
”I will continue to gather all the information about my draft status and use that information over the next two weeks to determine whether or not to keep my name in the draft,” Thompson said.
If Thompson or Joseph – or both – decide to leave with Hamilton, it would drastically change the lineup next season for a Texas team that rose to No. 3 in the rankings and challenged Kansas for the Big 12 title.
They could join Kevin Durant (2007) and Avery Bradley (2010) as freshman who left the Longhorns in recent years.
Texas has one of the top-ranked recruiting classes coming in, highlighted by guard Myck Kabongo.
Texas started 11-0 in conference play before a 5-5 finish down the stretch with a second-round loss to Arizona in the NCAA tournament.
Hamilton averaged 18.6 points last season. Thompson, the Big 12 freshman of the year, averaged 13.1 points and 7.8 rebounds and blocked 86 shots. His teammates voted him the Longhorns’ most valuable player. Joseph averaged 10.4 points and three assists.