Phil Pressey announced today that he will forego his senior season and enter his name into the 2013 NBA Draft. He has signed an agent which means he cannot change his mind and return to school.
“The plus side of it i get to go after my lifelong dream. I mean this is what I’ve been working for my whole life,” Pressey told reporters this morning. “The bad side of it is I leave a school I’ve been here for three years and I’ve grown to know people outside of basketball. I have so many friends at this University outside of basketball. On the court I’m leaving a lot of teammates that I’m gonna miss and then the coaching staff, some of those guys have helped me grow as a man and grow as a basketball player and I appreciate that.”
Pressey has been a bit of an enigma for Tigers fans this season. He broke Anthony Peeler’s school record for with 580 career assists and six games with double-digit assists this season, including a 19-assist game at UCLA. But he also had a season riddled with mental mistakes late in games and shooting only 37.6% from the field this season. Still, Frank Haith think Pressey has the tools to play in the NBA.
“Obviously his speed definitely gives him a chance in that league right away, getting in the lane in an uptempo system I think he’s gonna be very good. Phil is one of the best passers I’ve ever been around. He sees things happening that normal people don’t see,” Haith said.
Where Pressey goes in the draft is anybody’s guess. Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports has Pressey being drafted 46th overall. Draft Express agrees with him. Chad Ford, on the other had, had Pressey listed as the 81st ranked prospect in the draft.
It should be noted that not everyone has made a decision yet on whether or not they will make the leap to the NBA. For example Dwight Powell, who is listed ahead of Pressey, will return to Stanford next season and forego the NBA Draft this year. Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein of Kentucky, and Patric Young of Florida are other examples of potential first round guys who will be returning to college. Who actually ends up in the draft as well the needs of the teams who end up picking in the second round will loom large for Pressey.
While what may be good for Pressey may not be good for the Tigers. Missouri has lost nearly their entire backcourt with Pressey’s move to the NBA, Dominique Bull and Negus Webster-Chan’s decisions to transfer, and the graduation of Keion Bell. Wesley Clark is the only guard in this season’s recruiting class so Haith may look to add one more ball-handler during the summer.