Butler G Mack stays in draft

There was little left for Shelvin Mack to accomplish at Butler.

The powerful 6-foot-3 guard became one of Butler's all-time scoring leaders and helped the Bulldogs reach the NCAA final the last two seasons. The Bulldogs lost to Connecticut in this year's national title game after falling to Duke in the 2010 final.

With those accolades behind him, Mack formally announced Tuesday that he is staying in the NBA draft.

"I've been waiting for this opportunity all my life," he said. "I did a lot of good things at Butler. I'm comfortable with leaving."

Butler officials said Sunday, the day of the deadline to pull out of the June 23 draft, that Mack wouldn't return for his senior season.

Mack said it wasn't an easy decision, especially considering the friends he's made at Butler and the possibility of an NBA lockout. Mack is 23 credits away from earning a degree in media arts and he plans to take classes this summer.

"Being at Butler is not like a normal college," he said. "It's a brother atmosphere. When you take that into consideration, it's a very difficult choice."

Coach Brad Stevens said he didn't push Mack either way.

"I think Shelvin has a great feel for the challenges that lie ahead, and I think my job is not to play adviser, my job is to play information gatherer and help him in that regard," he said.

Mack finished 11th on Butler's all-time list with 1,527 points, was fourth in 3-pointers and fifth in assists. He averaged 20.3 points during the 2011 NCAA tournament and is the school's all-time tournament scoring leader.

Stevens believes Mack can carry his success to the NBA.

"He's a guy that can handle the ball, he can dribble, pass and shoot," Stevens said. "He has great strength, he has an NBA body, and he's going to be able to play throughout the course of an 82-game season. He also performs at his best against the highest level and always has."

Mack said he needs to get into better shape and his game needs to become more efficient and consistent.

Last year, Butler's Gordon Hayward left early and the Utah Jazz picked him in the first round. Hayward told Mack to be prepared if he's asked to be a role player.

"At Butler, I played mostly the whole game," Mack said. "This year, I might play two minutes one game, 20 the next and the next, might not play at all."

Hayward was considered more of a sure thing. Mack understands that things might not work out as planned.

"To me, the worst-case scenario is going undrafted and going to Europe," he said. "I'm mentally prepared if that happens."


Cliff Brunt can be reached at http://twitter.com/cliffbruntap