Report: Gonzaga big man Kelly Olynyk heads to NBA after breakout season

Kyle Ringo
The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Now this is no surprise.

Gonzaga's 7-footer Kelly Olynyk has decided to leave school early and enter the NBA draft, according to a report in the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. Olynyk is coming off a remarkable season in which he went from lightly regarded commodity to consensus first-team All American.

A year ago, the idea of Olynyk turning pro now would have seemed ridiculous. He redshirted during the 2011-12 season after two underwhelming seasons earlier in his career with the Bulldogs. He focused on improving his game, something a lot of underclassmen ought to consider before turning pro, and he made himself into a probable lottery pick in this year's draft.

Olynyk, a product of Kamloops, B.C., is scheduled to have an afternoon press conference to discuss his decision. Today is his 22nd birthday.

He averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds this season leading Gonzaga to its first No. 1 national ranking in school history. The Bulldogs also earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time but were upset by upstart Wichita State.

If Olynyk is picked in the first round in June, he would be the fifth Gonzaga player to be selected in the first round.

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