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Surprise! Arizona C Deandre Ayton declares for the NBA Draft

During the Arizona Wildcats’ final home game this season, head coach Sean Miller honored freshman Deandre Ayton like a senior. He knew it was the big man’s last game at McKale Center.

Ayton spoke as if it were his last game Thursday when Arizona lost its NCAA Tournament first round game against Buffalo.

But it wasn’t officially official until Wednesday, when Ayton declared he will enter the 2018 NBA Draft. There, he’s expected to be in the running for the top overall selection.

The 7-foot-1 center, who won the Pac-12 Player of the Year award, averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in 2017-18.

He shot 61.2 percent overall and 34.3 percent from three-point range.

Ayton and Slovenian swingman Luka Doncic are widely considered the two best prospects in the upcoming draft.

Duke forward Marvin Bagley III, Michigan State center Jaren Jackson Jr., Oklahoma guard Trae Young, Texas center Mo Bamba and Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. are players in the second tier of the draft class who could possibly make a surprise leap into the top-2.


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