COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri point guard Phil Pressey is skipping his senior season to enter the NBA draft.
The decision was announced in a statement from the school Wednesday.
Players who declare for the draft have until April 16 to withdraw and keep their NCAA eligibility, but Pressey is hiring an agent, essentially sealing his decision.
Pressey, a 5-foot-11 guard from Dallas, averaged 11.9 points, 7.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game in leading the Tigers to a 23-11 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament, where they lost their opening game to Colorado State. He was all-Southeastern Conference and is Missouri’s career in assists with 580. He tied Anthony Peeler for the school’s career steals lead with 196.
But Pressey made only 37.6 percent of his field-goal attempts and struggled with late-game decision-making and crucial turnovers in losses to UCLA, LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee. He averaged 3.5 turnovers per game.
Pressey said in the statement that the decision was difficult.
“I wish we could have brought home a national championship banner, but coming to Mizzou was the best decision of my life,” he said.
Coach Frank Haith said in the statement that he supports Pressey’s decision, though many draft experts project Pressey as a late-second round pick at best.
“It’s a bittersweet day because we all care so much about Phil, but I know how much research he and his family have done and I support that 100 percent,” Haith said.
Missouri will have an entirely different look in 2013-14 with the departure of Pressey and seniors such as Laurence Bowers, Alex Oriakhi and Keion Bell. Sophomore Jabari Brown will be the Tigers’ only returning starter, though senior guard Earnest Ross, who saw significant playing time, will be back. Transfer Jordan Clarkson, who sat out this past season after averaging 16.5 points per game at Tulsa in 2011-12, will be eligible.
Carter-Williams entering NBA draft: In Syracuse, N.Y., four days after Syracuse lost in the national semifinals of the NCAA tournament, star point guard Michael Carter-Williams said he has decided to enter the NBA draft.
The 6-feet-6 Carter-Williams started all 40 games for the Orange this season. He finished fifth nationally in assist average (7.3) and fourth in steals (2.78) among Division I players, and averaged 11.9 points and a team-best 35.2 minutes.
His star rose greatly in the postseason as he led Syracuse on a scintillating run after an end-of-year skid. In free fall with four losses in five games to close the regular season, the Orange beat Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Georgetown in the Big East tournament before falling to eventual national champion Louisville in the title game at Madison Square Garden.
In the NCAA tournament, Carter-Williams scored a career-high 24 in an upset of top-seeded Indiana in the semifinals of the East Regional, just days after his family home had been ravaged by a fire. Two days later, in the regional final, he had 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals with just one turnover in a victory over Marquette and was named the most outstanding player of the regional.
Carter-Williams, of Hamilton, Mass., is being projected as a lottery pick. The deadline for underclassmen to declare is April 28.
In his lone year as a starter, Carter-Williams broke the school record for steals in a season with 111 and finished with 292 assists, the second-highest total in Syracuse history behind only Sherman Douglas’s record of 326 in 1988-89. Carter-Williams also recorded nine double-doubles.
Syracuse, which finished 30-10, ended the season with a 61-56 loss to Michigan Saturday. Carter-Williams fouled out with 1:14 left, giving a big tug on his jersey while walking to the bench after a 1-for-6 shooting night that included just two assists with five turnovers.
Zeller heading to NBA: Indiana sophomore center Cody Zeller is heading to the NBA. The announcement was made on a family business website Wednesday, shortly before a scheduled news conference.
Zeller is the second Hoosiers star to leave school early. On Tuesday, junior swingman Victor Oladipo announced he, too, was entering the NBA draft.
Neither decision was a surprise because both are projected to be lottery picks in June.
Zeller, a 7-footer, could have left school last year but decided to return for one more shot at a national championship. He led the Hoosiers in scoring (16.5 points) and rebounding (8.1), was a second-team All-American and is projected to be a top 10 pick in June’s draft.
Zeller’s older two brothers, Luke and Tyler, also played in the NBA this season.
Weber gets contract extension: In Kansas City, Kan., Kansas State rewarded basketball coach Bruce Weber for winning a share of the school’s first conference championship in 36 years with a raise and a one-year contract extension Wednesday.
Weber’s annual salary will increase by $250,000 to $1.75 million next season, and increase by $100,000 each of the remaining years on his original five-year deal. That means Weber will make $2.15 million for the 2017-18 season, the year that has been added to his contract.
“Whenever you have success, it is a direct reflection of your team and staff, and I have said all along we had great chemistry between our players and staff all year,” Weber said. “I’m so proud to be associated with this group of players and coaches and I can’t thank them enough.”
Weber, who was hired to replace Frank Martin, went 27-8 in his first season in Manhattan. More important, he went 14-4 in the Big 12 and tied rival Kansas for a share of the championship. The fourth-seeded Wildcats were upset by No. 13 seed La Salle in the NCAA tournament.