Oklahoma's Griffin headed to NBA, many college stars declare for NBA draft

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin has given up his final two years of eligibility and will enter the NBA draft after a sophomore season that ended with him being recognized as college basketball's top player.

Griffin announced his decision Tuesday at a campus news conference alongside coach Jeff Capel, saying it was time for him to take his game to the next level. He says he will look back on his days at Oklahoma as a special time.

Griffin helped the Sooners win 30 games in a season for only the fifth time in school history, shattering the school records for double-doubles and rebounds along the way.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina junior Devan Downey says he will make himself eligible for the NBA draft.

Tuesday's decision doesn't guarantee the guard is leaving the Gamecocks early. Downey says he will not hire an agent, meaning he can choose to return to school if he wants.

South Carolina coach Darrin Horn says he will help Downey collect information to see how high in the draft he might be picked.

By declaring for the draft early, Downey can work out for NBA teams and get advice about his draft standing.

The 5-foot-9 Downey was a team all-Southeastern Conference this season, led the league in steals and averaged 19.8 points a game.

The Gamecocks finished with 21 wins, just missing the NCAA tournament.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks will submit his name for the NBA draft, but will not hire an agent.

Meeks, a junior, averaged 23.7 points for the Wildcats last season. He poured in a school-record 54 points in a win over Tennessee in January. He was selected a second-team All-American for the Wildcats, who went 22-14.

Last week, Meeks wasn't sure about coming back for his senior year after Kentucky hired John Calipari to replace Billy Gillispie as head coach. Calipari says he'll sit down with players to discuss their future with the program.

Meeks has until June 15 to remove his name from the draft list and keep his remaining year of eligibility.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona junior forward Chase Budinger says he is hiring an agent and will make himself available for the NBA draft.

Budinger made the announcement on Tuesday, the same day Sean Miller was introduced as the new Arizona coach. Budinger averaged 18 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and averaged 19 points in the Wildcats' three NCAA tournament games.

Budinger says he felt he was ready for the move.

Junior center Jordan Hill would not say whether he also would turn pro, but there is widespread speculation he will.

Point guard Nic Wise says he will make himself available to the draft but won't hire an agent. That means he can still change his mind and return for his senior season.

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