Bass can no longer return to LSU

Updated: May 13, 2005, 6:49 PM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU sophomore forward Brandon Bass, the 2005 SEC player of the year, announced late Friday that he will enter the 2005 NBA draft.

Bass' decision means he cannot play for LSU again. Last year he decided to test the waters, declaring he was available, but withdrawing later. A player can only do that once and return to his old team, however.

Bass averaged 17.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He scored in double figures in 27 of 30 games with 12 double doubles.

"I have improved tremendously over the past two years and have enjoyed my time at LSU," Bass said. "But after carefully seeking out and gathering all the information I can, I feel this is the right time to pursue my dream to play in the NBA."

The Tigers were 20-10 overall, 13-5 in the league and the champions of the Southeastern Conference Western Division this season.

LSU head coach John Brady said he has supported Bass throughout his decision-making process and would continue to do so.

"He has taken the necessary steps to make this important decision. I am confident he will be successful in this next step in his career and I truly appreciate all he has done for our basketball program at LSU," Brady said. "He is a tremendous young man and I have enjoyed having the opportunity to have coached him."

Bass was also named Louisiana Player of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. He also excelled in the classroom and earned the SEC's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

The 6-8, 252-pounder from Capitol High in Baton Rouge finished his LSU career with 890 points in 59 games as a starter, with an average of 15.1 points per game. He averaged 8.2 rebounds over two years and ranks third all-time in blocks with a total of 104.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press