Ending what was the worst-kept secret in college basketball, Arizona State sophomore guard Jahii Carson made his intentions known Wednesday via Twitter.
I'm excited to finally declare myself for the NBA draft. I wanna thank ASU for everything my ride at ASU was amazing.
— Jahii Carson (@Jahii_carson1) April 16, 2014
Carson spent three years on the Tempe campus, playing two seasons for head coach Herb Sendek after sitting out one year while he worked to gain academic eligibility.
In his first year, Carson led the Sun Devils in scoring (18.5 points per game) and helped them to a 22-13 record. He was a First Team All-Pac-12 selection and was named the conference’s co-Freshman of the Year along with UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad.
Carson surprised many when he returned for a second season in 2013-14. Again, the Mesa High School product led the Sun Devils in scoring (18.6 points per game) and again was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team. The big difference was that the Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament in Carson’s sophomore season, ducking out in the second round in a heartbreaking last-second loss against Texas.
“After discussing all my options with my family, teammates and coaches, I have decided to enter the 2014 NBA Draft,” Carson said in a statement released Wednesday. “My time at ASU has helped me mature as a student, athlete and person and has prepared me to take this next step in my career. I cannot thank Coach Sendek enough for allowing me to be a part of such an incredible Sun Devils community and I look forward to cheering on my teammates and all their future success.”
Carson is vying to become the first Sun Devil to be drafted in the first round since James Harden was selected by Oklahoma City with the third overall pick in 2009.
Despite his impressive resume, the 5-foot-10 guard is projected by most to be either a second-round selection in June’s draft or become a rookie free agent.
“Jahii and I discussed his decision to enter the NBA Draft, and while our program will miss him, I know he is ready to start his professional career,” Sendek said in a statement. “Jahii made an incredible impact on our program over the past two seasons and was a huge part of the success we achieved as a team. I know I speak for the entire Sun Devils community when I say we are wishing Jahii and his family all the best in the future.”