Michigan Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) and the Michigan Wolverines celebrate their victory 79-59 over the Florida Gators advancing to the Final Four in the South regional final of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at Cowboys Stadium. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Tim Hardaway Jr. is following Trey Burke out the door at Michigan.
Hardaway became the second Wolverine this week to leave early for the NBA draft. The junior guard made the announcement today at the Crisler Center.
"Trying to make the right decision for me, I'm going to forgo my senior season and declare for the NBA draft," said Hardaway. He said he made the decision Tuesday. "It was tough trying to get as much information as possible and try to make the right decision."
Hardaway's announcement comes just three days after Burke, winner of numerous player-of-the-year awards, said he would forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility.
Hardaway's NBA prospects are not as encouraging as Burke's, however. Most experts project him as a second-round selection.
"He's in a tough position," eson.com analyst Chad Ford wrote in an online chat today. "Had a really good year on a really good team. Does just about everything well. Just doesn't have that one thing in his game that he does great and it hurts him. If he were an elite shooter, or lock down defender or unstoppable getting to the basket, he'd be a first-rounder for sure. But as it stands right now, he's a second-round pick."
Hardaway has progressed over his three years, starting as a shooter his freshman year, but evolving into a better ballhandler and defender last year. His scoring average remained about the same as his sophomore season (14.5 points per game), but he improved his field-goal shooting (43.7%), his three-point shooting (37.4%) and his rebounding (4.7 per game), despite playing more as a guard.
"There might be some teams that view him as a first-rounder; people are all over the board on him," draftexpress.com expert Jonathan Givony told the Free Press last week. "Some people really like him, some people think he's not an NBA player, period, and they wouldn't even draft him in the second round. It's funny because he's so inconsistent. Sometimes he plays unbelievably well, and sometimes he's just awful, he takes bad shots, forces the issue, doesn't defend.
"Talking to different people, you get very different opinions what they think about him."
U-M freshmen Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III had not decided whether to declare for the draft as of Tuesday night, U-M coach John Beilein said.
Detroit Free Press