Maryland sophomore center Alex Len announced he will give up his final two seasons of college eligibility and make himself available for the NBA draft, confirming a Yahoo! Sports report from Sunday.
Len, a 7-foot-1 native of the Ukraine, averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 points and 2.1 blocks per game last season and was named to the all-ACC defensive team.
"In two years, I've never seen a kid learn a language, learn the game. .?.?. I don't know if I've ever been around a player who has improved as much as Alex," said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon.
NBADraft.net and DraftExpress.com project the 19-year-old Len to be a lottery pick in the upcoming draft.
"I think he can be the No. 1 pick in the draft, said Turgeon. "They're talking about the other guy (Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel) being No. 1 and you guys saw the same guy I saw when we played them early in the year. This kid (Len) is gonna be special."
Turgeon said he didn't attempt to convince Len to return to school because he's expected to be a lottery pick.
"I know it's gonna be different, it's gonna be a lot of hard work, but I think I'm ready to compete and contribute to teams," Len said. "When I came here two years ago, I improved so much that it's not gonna be hard to make step to the NBA."