LSU Forward Anthony Randolph To Put Name In For NBA Draft

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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LSU Forward Anthony Randolph To Put Name In For NBA Draft

BATON ROUGE ? LSU forward Anthony
Randolph, an honorable mention choice as Freshman All-America, announced on
Tuesday that he will put his name in to the National Basketball Association for
the 2008 NBA Draft.

The deadline to complete paperwork
for this year’s draft is April 27. The NBA Draft is June 26.

Randolph stated at the press
conference he at this time has not retained an agent and no decision on that
matter has been made by Randolph or his family. Should they decide not to
interact with an agent during the process prior to the draft, the window still
remains open that Randolph could take his name out of the draft and return to
LSU for his sophomore season.

“After much discussion with my
family and those closest to me, I feel that there cannot be a better time for me
to enter the NBA Draft,” said Randolph in his opening statement. “I am well
aware of the challenges young men face when entering the professional ranks of
any career. However, I believe I am ready to face these challenges with a
positive attitude, and I have faith and determination that I will succeed in
these endeavors.

“I have really enjoyed my time at
Louisiana State University. LSU has been a good opportunity for me,” he said.

The 6-10 Randolph averaged 15.6
points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks during the 2007-08 campaign as the only LSU
player to start all 31 games during the season. It was in the last nine games
when his game really began to draw notice of the scouts as his scoring average
went from 13.6 to its final average of 15.6 points per game. During that
nine-game stretch he had five games over 20 points and four double doubles and
averaged 20.1 points.

For the season, Randolph had nine
games over 20 points, 27 games in double figures and nine double
doubles.

Besides being named honorable
mention freshman A-A by collegehoops.net, Randolph was a unanimous pick to the
Coaches SEC All-Freshman team after leading all freshmen in rebounds and blocks
and finishing fifth among freshman in scoring. He was named to the Associated
Press All-SEC Honorable Mention grouping, was a first team All-Louisiana
selection and was named the Freshman of the Year as selected by the Louisiana
Sports Writers Association.

“It’s amazing that this is about
the fourth or fifth time with Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas, Stromile Swift and
Brandon Bass that these guys have had so much success after one or two years,”
said LSU Interim Head Men’s Basketball Coach Butch Pierre. “For Anthony
(Randolph) to be doing what he is doing now after his freshman year is pretty
remarkable. Anthony Randolph, during the recruiting process, chose LSU for
various reasons. I think the progress that he made the last five weeks of the
season and the way he played and was able to show all of his talents, it seemed
as through his evaluation with the NBA and his family is one of the reasons he
decided.

“He’s matured in a way where early
on in the season he learned a lot of things, and I think the decision that he’s
making right now is a good decision. I support whatever he wanted to do,” Pierre
said. “Anthony is one of those guys who doesn’t show a lot of facial
expressions. When he walked into my office on the third floor in the latter part
of the year, in the last three or four weeks, he showed more expression, and
that’s the maturity and what the people in the NBA see in him. I hope with the
experience he has obtained here at LSU, he will remain connected to LSU and the
LSU family. That is important, and I think that is the reason he decided to make
this announcement right here and instead of just saying that he’s going to put
his name in the draft.”

Overall in league stats, Randolph
was 12th in the league in scoring, third in rebounds, 11th
in field goal percentage, third in blocked shots and second in defensive
rebounds.

Anthony Randolph Press
Conference

April 8,
2008

Forward Anthony
Randolph

Opening
statement…

“Before I make my announcement, I
would like to thank Christ Jesus. His grace and mercy has sustained and blessed
me, and without him, I would not be here today. Also, I would like to thank my
family and friends, especially my mother and father and coaches Pat Washington
and Butch Pierre. They really helped me developed as a person and a basketball
player. In addition, I would like to thank Coach (John) Treloar, Coach (Chad)
Dollar, (Strength Coach Gayle) Hatch and the entire LSU basketball staff for
their guidance over the past year. I also would like to thank all of my
teammates. It has been an incredible experience playing for them, and I am very
grateful for the friends that I have made.

“After much discussion with my
family and those closest to me, I feel that there cannot be a better time for me
to enter the NBA Draft. I am well aware of the challenges young men face when
entering the professional ranks of any career. However, I believe I am ready to
face these challenges with a positive attitude, and I have faith and
determination that I will succeed in these endeavors.

“I have really enjoyed my time at
Louisiana State University. LSU has been a good opportunity for me. The
opportunity to gain an education from one of the finest schools in the country,
meet many new people and friends, play in the greatest basketball conference in
the country and to develop as a basketball player. Even as I prepare for
physical and mental challenges of the NBA, I remain committed to obtaining my
degree from LSU.

“Finally, I would like to thank
all of the LSU fans, family and alumni for their support this past year. All of
you are the biggest reasons I had such a tremendous experience playing for the
Tigers. I would like everyone to know that I will be cheering for my team and
the University for the rest of my life as they move on and continue to play for
national championships in every sport, especially men’s basketball. Having said
that, it is now my time to say goodbye as an LSU basketball player, but as
always, go Tigers!”

Head coach Butch Pierre

Opening
Statement

“It’s amazing that this is about
the fourth or fifth time with Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas, Stromile Swift and
Brandon Bass that these guys have had so much success after one or two years.
For Anthony (Randolph) to be doing what he is doing now after his freshman year
is pretty remarkable. Anthony Randolph, during the recruiting process, chose LSU
for various reasons. I think the progress that he made the last five weeks of
the season and the way he played and was able to show all of his talents, it
seemed as though his evaluation with the NBA and his family is one of the
reasons he decided.

“He’s been a remarkable young man.
He’s been on time for everything. He’s matured in a way where early on in the
season he learned a lot of things, and I think the decision that he’s making
right now is a good decision. I support whatever he wanted to do. Anthony is one
of those guys who doesn’t show a lot of facial expressions. When he walked into
my office on the third floor in the latter part of the year, in the last three
or four weeks, he showed more expression, and that’s the maturity and what the
people in the NBA see in him. I hope with the experience he has obtained here at
LSU, he will remain connected to LSU and the LSU family. That is important, and
I think that is the reason he decided to make this announcement right here and
instead of just saying that he’s going to put his name in the draft.

“LSU has done a lot for him. With
the stage that LSU has, I hope we will continue to get players like Anthony and
continue the success of trying to win a Southeastern Conference championship and
a national championship.”

On if he was late to the press
conference because someone was trying to convince him to
stay…

Randolph — “No, sir. I was just a
little bit nervous about making my decision and Coach Pierre was trying to
encourage me, and he did.”

On if he would have stayed if
Butch Pierre were named head coach…

Randolph — “Like I said, it was a
hard decision. I wouldn’t want to play for any coach other than Coach Pierre,
but I had to make the decision that was best for my family.”

On if he thinks he would still
be here if Butch Pierre were the head coach…

Randolph — “That’s a hypothetical
question. I can’t answer that because that would be under different
circumstances.”

Pierre — “Let me say this. To
help Anthony with these questions you all are asking him. I counseled Anthony
right when the season ended with his family. He and I were in the office after
spring break and he went through the evaluation process at that time. I
counseled him before and I think that no young man should base his future on who
is going to be the coach when he is in that situation. I didn’t want my
situation to affect his situation. I don’ think the decision was based just upon
the coach and I think he had his mind made up before now. I think he waited
until the Final Four was over so that he wouldn’t take away from that.

“Anthony has fulfilled all of his
academic obligations. He’s in school and he’s worked closely with the academic
department. He and his family have sat down with the compliance office and
covered all of the rules in terms of entering his name in the NBA Draft. So I
think he’s done everything he’s been expected to do in this situation. For any
young man to be projected as high as he has been projected has a decision to
make. That’s the most important thing.

“During the recruiting process I
told him that I could pick ?em. He should have been a McDonald’s All-American
and that’s been proven now. I also told him that if he stays at LSU for more
than two years it’s his fault. The last five weeks of the season I became the
coach and he just blew up the charts. That’s what happened.”

On if he planned to move on to
the NBA quickly prior to coming to LSU…

Randolph — “No ma’am. My
intention was to come in and get an education from one of the best universities
in the country and also to learn under the guidance of a great coaching staff,
and I’ve done that. All of the stuff that’s happening now has just been icing on
the cake.”

On what advice he received and
where he’s heard he may be drafted…

Randolph — “As far as my draft
stock, I really don’t know. I just know that I have the opportunity of being
selected in the first round. As far as advice, I was counseled by my family and
the coaches and we all came to the conclusion that right now would be the best
time for me to pursue my professional career.”

On what his fondest memory of
LSU will be…

Randolph — “It’s two memories:
the Florida game and the Georgia game. After the coaching change, we were coming
off an emotional low and for us to come together as a team and to play how we
did with so much enthusiasm and emotion was great.”

On what made him change his
mind in the last month…

Randolph — “Not much has changes.
It’s just that when I sat down with my family and the coaches we all came to the
conclusion that this would be the best time. Nothing has changed, my heart is
still with LSU and it always will be.”

On when the decision was made
and if the coaching change influenced him at all…

Randolph — “Coach Pierre told me
when he brought me into his office at the end of the season that he didn’t want
me to make my decision off his situation; that [the coaching change] wasn’t part
of the decision. My family and I made the decision about a week
ago.”

On signing with a particular
agent —

Randolph ? “ I haven’t signed with
any agent and I don’t plan to any time soon. I’ll make that decision as time
goes on.”

On if he’s thought about what
he’ll spend his first dollar of NBA money on…

Randolph — “No ma’am, that’s not
what I’m focused on right now. I’m focused on getting into the gym and working
hard.”

On if he thinks he will sign
with an agent before the draft…

Randolph — “I don’t know. When
that time comes we’ll make that decision.”

On if he is leaving the door
open to a return…

Randolph — “I can’t answer that
right now. I’ll be able to answer that later on as I go through the trainings
and the workouts with the coaches.”