Arkansas' Young declares for draft

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 28, 2013
BJ Young couldn't pass up the allure of the NBA a second time around. Arkansas' scoring leader announced his decision to enter the draft Thursday, following a season in which he averaged 15.2 points. The sophomore is second Razorbacks player to declare for the draft this week, following junior forward Marshawn Powell's announcement. Young led Arkansas in scoring in each of the last two seasons, finishing fifth in the Southeastern Conference this season. The 6-foot-3 guard briefly considered leaving for the NBA after his freshman season before deciding to return to school. After meeting with his father and Razorbacks coach Mike Anderson on Thursday, Anderson wasn't ready to wait any longer. ''This is his dream, and as a coach I encourage him to pursue that dream,'' Anderson said in a statement. ''I gave him the pros and cons of his decision, and he chose to enter the draft.'' It wasn't immediately clear if Young had hired an agent, though a school spokesman said he doesn't ''believe (Young) has plans to return.'' Arkansas was 19-13 this season, missing the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight season. Young burst onto the SEC scene as a freshman last season, Anderson's first as coach with the Razorbacks. The St. Louis native averaged 15.3 points in his first season and was selected to the All-SEC second team by the league's coaches. Young earned the same second-team all-conference honors this season, while averaging 3.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds, but he struggled with his shot at times as Arkansas' season ended with a first-round loss in the SEC tournament. After shooting 50.4 percent from the field as a freshman, Young connected on 45 percent of his shots this season. His biggest dropoff came on 3-pointers, where he fell from 41.3 percent to 22.7, and his free throw percentage fell from 74.3 percent to 66.9. His season high of 29 points came in a loss to Arizona State on Nov. 23. Anderson wouldn't speculate about Young's future last week in a season-ending news conference, saying he would meet with Young and Powell following the Final Four to discuss their futures. Powell announced his decision to enter the professional ranks on Twitter on Tuesday, without meeting with Anderson first. Young's decision came after meeting with Anderson, and it came despite pleas from Arkansas students during the school's home finale to return for one more season.
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