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Auburn freshman Sharife Cooper on Friday told Jonathan Givony of ESPN that he will sign with an agent and declare for the 2021 NBA draft, forgoing his remaining collegiate eligibility.
Cooper, who is projected to be a first-round pick, was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team after averaging 20.2 points, 8.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds and one steal in 12 games with the Tigers. He was one of just seven players to average at least 20 points and eight assists over the last 25 years.
The 6-foot-1 guard missed the first 12 games of the season for Auburn due to eligibility issues with the NCAA. He eventually debuted on Jan. 9 versus Alabama, recording 26 points, nine assists, four rebounds and three steals in his debut.
The 19-year-old projects to be a highly-coveted guard in the draft given his quickness and ability to find teammates on the court. Offensively, he has the skillset to create for himself while using his athleticism to get to the rim and draw contact.
His 8.6 free-throw attempts per game would have led the nation over a full season.
Cooper is currently projected by some mock drafts to go as high as seventh and as low as 25th. His sample size at Auburn was rather small, but he likely can help improve his stock through private workouts and the combine, which is set to run June 21-27.
The NBA draft is set to take place on July 29.