Smith, 7-foot junior, declares for NBA draft

Updated: April 3, 2007, 3:53 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Colorado State junior Jason Smith is going to test the NBA waters.

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The 7-foot forward from Kersey, Colo., who averaged 16.8 points and 10.1 rebounds as a junior last season, will declare himself eligible for the NBA draft. Smith, however, won't sign with an agent, allowing him to return to school if he determines he won't go high enough in the June 28 draft.

He would have until June 18 to withdraw his name from consideration and retain his senior year of eligibility for the Rams, whom he's led in scoring and rebounding the last two seasons.

"I owe it to myself and my family to assess what my possibilities are related to the draft," Smith said. "I want to collect all of the information that I can and be able to make a good decision. I have had a great time at Colorado State, but I'm looking forward to this process. I feel I am prepared, and I am excited to go as hard as I can to pursue this opportunity."

Smith, a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection the last two seasons, has the blessing of new Rams coach Tim Miles.

"We want to help Jason and his family explore all possible opportunities so that they can make the best decision for him," Miles said. "I support Jason and his family, and will do so in every way that I can."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press