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Pruitt to Declare for the NBA

No real shock here as this has been discussed for sometime now. Matthew Kredell has the story in the DN.

Gabe Pruitt made it official Thursday, saying that he will declare for the NBA draft but not hire an agent, leaving open the possibility to return for his senior year at USC if he doesn't like where he is projected.

Pruitt will have until June 18 to remove his name from the draft -- which is June 28 -- if he is going to return for his senior season.

"I'm looking to hear I'll be a first-round pick because of the guaranteed money," Pruitt said of what would keep him in the draft. "If it's not looking like I'll be a first-round pick, I'll obviously stay in school. If it is, I'll have to look over my options."

Moving On?
It is in thing to test the waters and not hire an agent in order to not burn any bridges. I have said before that I think Pruitt needed another year but with his academic issues last season and the amount of attention that SC got this season really put him in the spot light and raised his draft stock. I'm concerned that because of those academic issues he will look very hard at going to the next level.

Kredell also mentions that a weaker than normal draft at the point guard position could also sway Pruitt into heading to the NBA. If Pruitt goes SC will have to replace its top 3 scorers from last season with Loderick Stewart graduating and Nick Young foregoing his senior season as well. That's a lot of firepower to replace so Tim Floyd has his work cut out for him if Pruitt doesn't come back. I also think that O.J. Mayo coming in would probably move Pruitt to the shooting guard position and while he is more than capable in that role it would move him out of the spotlight a little more than he would probably like. That is understandable as Mayo will draw a lot attention and Pruitt prefers the point position.

So we'll see it how it all plays out, I think he goes but I hope he stays.

Update [2007-4-28 8:37:29 by Paragon SC]: here is Matthew Kredell’s take on Pruitt’s declaring for the draft.