Spencer Hawes has decided to keep his name in the NBA draft, thereby ending his career at the University of Washington after one season.
The 7-foot center had announced on April 5 that he would test the NBA waters. On that day, Hawes said he would use the available time to try to determine his NBA readiness, his potential draft position, and his chances of being drafted into a situation where he can succeed.
He studied his options until just hours before today's 2 p.m. deadline, when he finaly announced that he would pursue an NBA career, which he has called "my goal since I was a kid."
Most projections for the June 28 draft show Hawes being taken around the eighth to 12th pick in the first round. One popular projection has him going to the Chicago Bulls as the No. 9 pick.
Hawes grew up in Seattle and attended Seattle Prep, where he became one of the nation's top college prospects.
As a UW freshman, he played in 31 games and started 24. He led the Huskies with a 14.9 scoring average and was the No. 2 rebounder with an average of 6.4 rpg. His 53.2-percent shooting average was fourth best in the Pacific-10 Conference. He set a UW freshman record with 54 blocked shots.
He was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention and a first-team all-league freshman team selection.
If Hawes leaves, the loss could be eased by newcomers such as 7-foot center Joe Wolfinger, who sat out last season with a foot injury, and incoming 6-foot-8 freshman Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
A press conference with Hawes and coach Lorenzo Romar is scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon, and I'll post again after that.
Meanwhile, here are a couple of quotes provided by the UW athletics department:
Hawes: "After meeting with everyone, getting all the appropriate feedback and going through the entire evaluative process, I made a decision I believe is the best for my future and that is to remain eligible for the NBA Draft. The decision to further my career in the NBA at this point in time was difficult. Every day I had different feelings about it. But, at the end of the day, I have to be realistic and trust my instincts.
"The fact that our team struggled a bit last season made the decision not to return to Washington very difficult. Certainly, there are some things I would have liked to accomplish in college. But, I feel I made the best decision to my family and my future."
ROMAR: "Spencer is obviously very talented. We think so and the NBA thinks so. Spencer has a great opportunity in front of him and we wish him the best. One of the important character traits that really describes Spencer is the fact that during the spring quarter he completed every one of his classes and remained an outstanding student at the University of Washington."