Beasley to declare for NBA Draft

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State freshman forward Michael Beasley has announced he will forego his remaining three years of college eligibility and begin preparations for the June NBA Draft.

 

Beasley announced his intentions at a press conference on Monday, where he was joined by head coach Frank Martin and associate head coach Dalonte Hill as well as agent, Joel Bell of Bell Sports, Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md.  Also in attendance were university president Dr. Jon Wefald, vice president of institutional advancement and intercollegiate athletics Bob Krause and deputy athletics director Jim Epps.

 

“I would like to announce that I am entering my name into the 2008 NBA Draft,” said Beasley in a prepared statement.  “After consulting with my family and advisors, I have determined that this is the best course of action for me at this time. Kansas State will always be special for me, and I cannot think of a better place to be a student-athlete. The people in and around Manhattan have made this the best year of my life, and I definitely will come back and visit and support the school as much as I can. I want to thank my coaches for their help and guidance, as well as my mother for moving here this year to help support me.  I thank everyone in the Kansas State community and I will certainly always be a Wildcat!”

 

“We are extremely thankful to Mike for helping us move our program into national spotlight once again,” said Martin.  “He has been unbelievable in how he has represented, and will continue to represent Kansas State University.  We are also very excited for the tremendous opportunity in which he is about to embark upon.  Mike is a very talented player and we all know he will be very successful at the next level.”

 

Most national observers predict Beasley to one of the first selections in the 2008 NBA Draft, as he is projected as the No. 1 pick to the Miami Heat by www.draftexpress.com and the No. 2 pick to the Seattle Supersonics by www.nbadraft.net.  He would be the first player to be drafted at Kansas State since Steve Henson went to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 1990 draft, while he would be just the sixth player in school history to be selected in the first round.  Bob Boozer is the first and only Kansas State player to go No. 1 in the NBA Draft when he was the Cincinnati Royals’ top pick in 1959, while Mitch Richmond (No. 5 to the Golden State Warriors in 1988) is the school’s only lottery pick (first 14 selections) since the system was implemented in 1985.

     

Beasley compiled one of the greatest seasons ever by a college freshman in NCAA history, as he averaged 26.2 points on 53.2 percent shooting (307-of-577), including 37.9 percent from 3-point range, with 12.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in 31.5 minutes per game this season.  He posted the second-most rebounds (408) by a freshman in NCAA history, trailing just the record of 462 set by Nevada’s Pete Padgett in 1972-73, while he collected the third-most points (866) by a freshman behind LSU’s Chris Jackson (965; 1988-89) and Texas’ Kevin Durant (903; 2006-07). 

Beasley led the nation in six categories, including rebounding, double-doubles (28), 40-point games (three), 30-point games (13), 20-point, 10-rebound games (23) and 30-point, 10-rebound games (13), while he ranked third in scoring.  He is just the third freshman in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounding, joining Loyola’s Kenny Miller (1987-88) and Louisiana Tech’s Paul Millsap (2003-04).  He also became just the 11th player in NCAA Division I history to post 28 or more double-doubles in a season and the first since Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan collected 29 during the 1996-97 season.
 

Beasley earned numerous accolades after the season, including National Player of the Year honors from both CBS Sports.com and Rivals.com and National Freshman of the Year honors from CBS Sports.com, Rivals.com, CollegeHoops.net, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).  He also was selected a first team All-American by numerous outlets, including The Associated Press, State Farm/National Association of Basketball Coaches, John R. Wooden Award, CBS Sports.com, Dick Vitale, ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.  He was also chosen as a first team Freshman All-American by CBS Sports.com and Rivals.com.  In addition, he was named both the Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year by the league coaches, The Associated Press, Kansas City Star and Rivals.com as well as a unanimous all-conference first team selection by nearly every media outlet.

 

Beasley already holds 30 Kansas State career, single-season and freshman records as well as 17 Big 12 single-game and single-season marks.  He is both the school’s and conference’s all-time single-season leader in scoring average (26.2 ppg.) and double-doubles (28), while he owns school single-season marks for points (866), rebounds (408), most 30-point games (13), most 20-point games (26), field goals made (307), free throws made (216) and free throws attempted (279). 

 

Beasley and company helped Kansas State post a 21-12 overall record in 2007-08, including a third-place finish in the Big 12 with a 10-6 mark.  The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly 12 years and captured its first NCAA Tournament win since 1988 with their 80-67 victory over USC in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Omaha, Neb., on March 20.  The team has now posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years, while the 10 conference wins tie the 2006-07 squad for the best league record in the Big 12 era.  The third-place finish is the best since the inception of the Big 12 and the highest since the 1988-89 team finished third in the Big Eight. 

 

The 2008 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.