Connecticut center Andre Drummond has decided to enter the NBA Draft, bypassing his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility.
Drummond could be a lottery pick in the June 28 draft after averaging 10.0 points and a team-best 7.6 rebounds in 34 games as a freshman.
"My family and I feel that this is the right time for me to take the next step in my basketball career," Drummond said Friday. "It has always been a goal of mine to compete against the world's best players and that is one of the big factors for me in making this decision.
"Although I was only at UConn for one year, the experience I gained playing against the best competition at the college level greatly helped me prepare for what I will face as I pursue a career as a professional."
The 6-foot-10 Drummond ranked third in the Big East with 2.7 blocks per game. He was selected to the conference's All-Rookie Team and his 10 double-doubles were a freshman record under head coach Jim Calhoun.
"Andre is a developing player with unlimited potential and his projected position in the draft is as good as almost any player I've ever had," Calhoun noted. "Very few players get such a tremendous opportunity, and he's got to take advantage of it."
Drummond became the second UConn player to declare early for the draft, doing so just three days after sophomore Jeremy Lamb. Of the 13 players before Lamb and Drummond to enter the draft early under Calhoun, all but one was drafted in the first round and 10 were lottery picks.