Memphis freshman Rose says he's leaving, will enter NBA draft

Updated: April 15, 2008, 7:53 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Memphis freshman Derrick Rose announced on Tuesday that he would forgo his last three years of eligibility and enter the NBA draft.

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WPTY-TV in Memphis and cable news channel CNBC reported that Rose was close to signing with agent Arn Tellem. When asked about the possibility of signing Rose, Tellem's agency, Wasserman Media Group, declined to comment, according to WPTY's report.

"This is not a step I take lightly, although it has always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA. After weighing all of the options -- with which I am blessed -- I feel that it is the right time for me to take this step," Rose said in a statement released by Memphis. "My only regret is not winning a national title for the University of Memphis."

Rose, a point guard, is listed as the No. 2 draft selection, with the possibility of being taken as the No. 1 pick, on Chad Ford's Big Board on ESPN.com.

Rose was the Tigers' second-leading scorer (14.9 ppg) and third-leading rebounder (4.5 rpg) this past season, and led the team with 189 assists. In the NCAA tournament, he averaged 20.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists.

"Derrick is one of the great players I've ever coached, but of even more importance, he is one of the greatest teammates I've been around," Memphis coach John Calipari said in a statement. "We are forever indebted to Derrick and his family for what they did for not only this basketball program, but also for the University and the city of Memphis.

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