Georgia’s Caldwell-Pope bolting for NBA draft

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will enter the NBA draft.

Coach Mark Fox announced Monday that Caldwell-Pope has hired an agent, ending his college career. Several draft analysts have projected him to go around the middle of the first round.

Caldwell-Pope decided to turn pro after finishing second in the Southeastern Conference in scoring at 18.5 points a game. He also swept the player of the year awards handed out by The Associated Press and the league coaches.

In his final college game, Caldwell-Pope scored a career-high 32 points in a loss to LSU at the SEC tournament, making him the 43rd player in Georgia history to reach 1,000 points.

“I want to thank the University of Georgia for all it has done for me,” Caldwell-Pope said in a statement released through the university. “I want to thank my coaches, teammates and fans for the love and support.”

School officials said his family had decided not to make him available to comment on the decision.

Caldwell-Pope led the Bulldogs in scoring, rebounding, steals, minutes played, as well as field goals, 3-pointers and free throws made. He ranked among the SEC’s leaders in nine of 13 categories.

Also, he was one of just nine players in Division I to reach double-figure scoring in each of his team’s games this past season.

“It’s been a pleasure to coach Kentavious and to see him grow as both a player and a person,” Fox said. “I wish him nothing but success as he pursues his dreams. He will always be a part of the Georgia family.”