'Big Baby' Davis leaving LSU after three seasons

Updated: March 20, 2007, 6:06 PM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU's "Big Baby" is moving on to the next stage of his basketball life.

Glen "Big Baby" Davis announced Tuesday that he will skip his senior year to enter the NBA draft.

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"After my toughest year, I now feel I am physically and mentally ready for the NBA," Davis said. "In my mind and in my heart, I felt that it was time for me to move on."

Coach John Brady said last week the 6-foot-9, 290-pound junior had been meeting with agents and was leaning toward turning pro.

Davis averaged 17.7 points and 10.4 rebounds this season, missing several games late in the year because of a strained quadriceps. He is the only LSU player other than Shaquille O'Neal with career totals surpassing 1,500 points, 900 rebounds and 100 blocks. Davis was an AP second team All-America selection during the 2005-06 season, when LSU went to the Final Four.

"Last year, the team had great success. I was part of only four [LSU] teams to make it to the Final Four," Davis said. "I decided to stay and hoped to build on that this year. Unfortunately that didn't happen."

Davis has signed with Houston-based agent John Hamilton of Performance Sports Management but will remain enrolled at LSU until the end of the semester. The NBA's pre-draft camp is from May 28 to June 5 in Orlando, and Davis expects to be there.

Brady said he advised Davis to turn pro unless he was fully committed to returning to LSU for his senior year. The coach told Davis not to base his decision purely on scouts' projections about how high he'd be picked in the NBA draft.

"That was the most important thing to me," Brady said. "I told him two weeks ago that he needs to go where his heart moves him to go, not where someone tells him he'll go [in the draft]. He had three outstanding years at LSU. I watched him grow. ... He'll do well."

Davis said he's been told he could be selected anywhere from the middle of the first round to early in the second. First-round picks get guaranteed three-year contracts. Second-rounders do not, and many get cut in training camp. In rare cases, however, being picked in the second round can be a financial boon to players who perform well since they can enter the league under shorter contracts and become free agents sooner.

While Davis played both center and power forward in college, he's expected to play only the latter in the pros.

"It's just about being ready and I'm ready," Davis said. "The game is still called basketball. I'm well qualified to play the game. Basically, I was ready for the next level. I feel I have nothing to prove. ... I believe no other power forward can do what I do. I can score and I can rebound."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press