Hill follows Budinger to draft, says he won’t return to UA
Will Arizona guard Nic Wise be next to declare for the NBA?
He said two weeks ago he’d “most likely” test the waters. A decision could come in the next day or so.
On Wednesday, UA junior Jordan Hill declared for the NBA, saying he has hired an agent and will not return to UA.
“I just want to thank the fans of Tucson, my coaches and my teammates for all of their support,” Hill said in a statement released by UA. “Playing at Arizona has been a great experience and puts me in the position to move to the next level. It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA.”
Hill, who averaged 18.3 points and 11 rebounds a game, was a Sporting News third team All-America and an Associated Press honorable mention selection. He’s considered an NBA lottery pick by some, including the No. 2 pick overall, according to nbadraft.net.
Hoopshype.com has him at No. 3. The NBA draft lottery – with regard to team slots – has yet to be done, however.
Teammate Chase Budinger’s stock isn’t as high. Budinger, who declared on Tuesday, the same day Sean Miller was introduced as Arizona’s new coach, is listed at No. 24, according to Hoopshype.com. It was near the range Budinger was at last season when he declared early for the draft, only to decide to return for his junior year.
Wise, UA’s pesky point guard, could declare but not hire an agent and return to UA, much like Budinger did a season ago.
Wise’s situation is much like former UA guard Jason Gardner’s. In 2001, after his sophomore season, Gardner declared for the draft but returned to UA after doing poorly in the annual NBA summer camp. Gardner eventually stayed all four years.
Miller, a former point guard at Pittsburgh, said Tuesday he hoped Wise would stay at UA because of his system.
“When I think the game, I really see it through the point guard,” Miller said.
Wise would become the 14th UA player to declare early.
In 2001, UA had a mass exodus of nonseniors. Sophomore Gilbert Arenas declared early, as did juniors Richard Jefferson and Michael Wright.
• Marcus Williams, who declared for the NBA two years ago after his sophomore season, was called up by the San Antonio Spurs after a second season in the NBDL. Last year at this time, he was called up by the Los Angeles Clippers.
• Four-star center Kyryl Natyazhko, a former Xavier recruit from Bradenton, Fla., said he is interested in Arizona, along with Arizona State and Pittsburgh, according to Rivals.com.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound senior averaged 25 points and 11 points for Bradenton Pendleton (IMG Academy) last season.
Natyazhko’s coach, Vince Walden, told Rivals that Miller has “already called” and that “Kyryl is intrigued by the situation” at UA.
Thirteen Wildcats have declared early for the NBA draft since 1984:
Brian Williams, C 1991
Mike Bibby, G 1998
Gilbert Arenas, G 2001
Jason Gardner, G* 2001
Richard Jefferson, F 2001
Michael Wright, F 2001
Andre Iguodala, F 2004
Chris Rodgers, G* 2005
Mustafa Shakur, G* 2006
Marcus Williams, G-F 2007
Jerryd Bayless, G 2008
Chase Budinger, F 2008*, 2009
Jordan Hill, F-C 2009
*Returned to UA without hiring agent