Baylor F Udoh declares for NBA draft

Updated: April 13, 2010, 8:00 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

Having concluded an epic one-and-done campaign in guiding the Baylor Bears to their first Elite Eight appearance, junior Ekpe Udoh announced Tuesday that he is entering the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-10 power forward said he hasn't decided on an agent, but does plan to hire one and be available in the June 24 draft. Early projections have Udoh being a possible a lottery pick.

After the Bears' season ended, Udoh sat down with coach Scott Drew to discuss the future.

"We came to the conclusion that I put myself in the best position possible to reach my dreams," Udoh said. "My time here was great. It was the best time of my life."

"When you have a relationship with your head coach that's as strong as coach Drew and I, he was all in. When he was all in, I was ready to go," Udoh said. "I'm all in. I'm going to the NBA."

Udoh's departure means coach Drew's Bears will lose at least three starters with point guard Tweety Carter and center Josh Lomers graduating. Junior shooting guard LaceDarius Dunn could also still declare for the draft, although he is expected to return for his senior season.

Udoh, who established Baylor and Big 12 Conference season blocks records with 133, was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and was a second-team All-Big 12 selection. He averaged 13.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 2.7 assists in 36 games.

He helped lead the Bears to their best season in the modern era, with a school-record 28 wins while advancing to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament. Baylor fell to eventual champion Duke, 78-71, in Houston.

The Edmond, Okla., native posted a team-best 16 double-doubles while establishing career-best game and season marks in points, rebounding, assists and blocked shots. Udoh's 351 rebounds ranked fourth on Baylor's season rebounding list. Udoh's defensive prowess helped the Bears become one of the top defensive teams in the Big 12.

Udoh played two years at Michigan before transferring to Baylor. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, Udoh worked on his offensive game and brought a dominant, inside-outside dynamic to the Bears.

Jeff Caplan covers colleges for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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