UF's Tyus submits name for NBA draft

Florida's Alex Tyus catches a pass during practice for round one of the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City on March 17.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 4:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 4:19 p.m.

Florida junior forward Alex Tyus is putting his name into the NBA draft without an agent.

Under new NCAA rules, Tyus has until May 8 to decide whether to keep his name in the NBA draft or return for his senior season. Tyus intends to fax a letter to the NBA League office to officially announce his decision on Thursday.

"Mainly, I just want to see where I stand," Tyus told The Sun on Wednesday. "I want to go through the process, getting a chance to meet some teams, working out against other players, trying to get better."

Tyus averaged 11.8 points and tied teammate Chandler Parsons with a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game in his junior season. He has started 70 straight games for UF as a sophomore and junior.

After averaging 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds as UF's starting center as a sophomore, the 6-foot-8, 220-pound Tyus moved to power forward as a junior and improved as a mid-range shooter.

Tyus is the third UF underclassmen to submit his name for the NBA draft without an agent in the last three seasons, joining Marreese Speights (2008) and Nick Calathes (2009). Speights stayed in the draft pool and was picked 15th overall in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers. Calathes decided to leave school in late May when he signed a pro contract overseas in Greece.

Both Speights and Calathes had the luxury of waiting until June 15 to decide whether to keep their names in the draft or return to school. Tyus has a smaller window. Tyus can begin to work out for NBA teams on April 25 and cannot miss class during workouts. But because UF's classes are over, Tyus will be able to take part in mid-week workouts until May 8. Tyus would have to schedule some workouts between final exams from April 24-30.

"It's definitely a situation where I'll have to think quicker," said Tyus, who indicated he probably won't leave UF unless he's projected as a first-round pick. "Making that decision, that's not really the goal right now. Really I just want to work out and see how I can get better."

Unhappy about playing center, Tyus nearly left Florida at the end of his sophomore season. But after making a transfer announcement in late April, Tyus had a change of heart and returned for his junior season.

If Tyus comes back, Florida will return an all-senior starting frontline next season. UF center Vernon Macklin and forward Chandler Parsons said they intend to return for their senior seasons.

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