LSU forward Johnny O'Bryant III to forego senior season and enter NBA draft

LSU forward Johnny O'Bryant III to forego senior season and enter NBA draft
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POSTED: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 4:29pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 4:46pm

LSU junior forward Johnny O’Bryant III made it official Tuesday afternoon with his mom, Angela Moore, and LSU head coach Johnny Jones by his side that he would forego his senior season at LSU to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

O’Bryant III finishes his three-year career at LSU with 1,157 points and 702 rebounds, one of just 14 players to have recorded 1,000 career points and 700 career rebounds at LSU … His point total ranks 31st on LSU’s school scoring list and his 702 rebounds is 20th all-time on the LSU list.

The Cleveland, Miss., native made the announcement with his fellow teammates and coaching staff in the room along with a large area media contingent who had covered him throughout his three years and were also on hand last year when he surprised many and returned for his junior season.

O’Bryant III averaged 15.4 points, the highest of his three years and up almost 7 full points from the end of freshman season. He averaged 7.7 rebounds a game and this season shot 49.6% from the field, which is fourth in the Southeastern Conference. He finished the year ninth in the league in scoring and fifth in the league in rebounds.

O’Bryant III averaged 12.7 points for the 91 games he played in over three years (79 starts) and 7.7 rebounds over those games. He played in three post-season games in two NIT events in his career (2012, 2014) and scored in double figures in eighth of the last nine games of his career, averaging 16.7 points per game and 8.1 rebounds over the last 18 games of his career.

JOB III earned Coaches All-SEC First Team honors for the second straight year becoming the ninth to earn back-to-back first team All-SEC honors joining such Tiger greats as Glen Davis (2006, 2007), Shaquille O’Neal (1990, 1991, 1992), Chris Jackson (Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf) (1989, 1990), Durand “Rudy” Macklin (1980, 1981), Pete Maravich (1968, 1969, 1970), Dick Maile (1964, 1965), Bob Pettit (1952, 1953, 1954) and Sparky Wade (1934, 1935).

He had eight 20-plus scoring games in 2013-14 and eight double doubles to bring his career total at LSU to 25, second among SEC players.

Here are some of the comments from the media session with O’Bryant III and Coach Johnny Jones earlier Tuesday:

Opening Statement by Johnny O’Bryant III…
“After carefully talking with my family and taking everything into consideration, I decided to forego my senior year and enter the 2013-14 NBA Draft. I also want to start by thanking first, God, LSU, Coach Jones and all my teammates who made this possible. I have had a great time here at LSU. It has been an honor to wear that LSU jersey. I want to thank all the fans for their support when things weren’t looking so good, and just everybody that played a part in it.”

Opening Statement by Coach Johnny Jones…
“Today is certainly one that is filled with a lot of emotions and mixed emotions to say the least. One of excitement for Johnny (O’Bryant III) and his family and his future for basketball, but at the same time being here at LSU – understanding that he won’t be a part of our program next year – it’s certainly one of those things that we would love to have, but understand how important it is for him. But we are really excited for him and know that he will have a bright future in playing on the professional level. And he has done everything we have asked him to do here in terms of his preparation, in terms of playing, preparing, getting better. And at the same time he has been a great representative of LSU on and off the basketball floor in the community. And he has just been a truly class act doing what he is supposed to on the academic side and the great thing is he promised his mom today that he is going to make sure that he can continue to come back to LSU and he will obtain his degree from here at LSU here in the near future.”

JOB III -- On the decision process, when he knew and what went into it…
“I started thinking about it after the season. I talked with my family; I just felt like that I was ready. I had a great individual season so I felt like I put the time and hard work in. “

JOB III -- On what he needs to do now and in the next few months…
“Just continue to work hard, get in better shape. That’s about it. Just work hard as I can, keep my faith in God, and just believe everything will work out.”

Johnny Jones on what feedback they got from the NBA…
“We did not do a deal that we did last year, the advisory, that was last year and things were positive. You can’t really discuss a whole lot that goes into it because they don’t want – that should be between the NBA and obviously the player and the coaches. Everything was positive in a sense last year, but it was probably going to be beneficial to him to come back and improve on some things and he has been able to do that and he has done it at a great rate. But I think the interest that has been shown, just from teams that have shown up – be it via practice or games – speaks volumes in terms of the interest level that they have in Johnny and his abilities.“

JOB III on if he accomplished everything he wanted to improve on in returning for his junior season…
“No I didn’t. I said last year that I wanted to take my team to the NCAA tournament, I failed at that, but I think overall I had a great experience here. I took my team as far as I could. I enjoyed being around the guys, enjoyed the coaching, so I enjoyed my time here.”

JOB III On if there was anything he improved on last year from a game standpoint…
“Just becoming a better all-around player. I was able to knock down the mid-range jumper better. I was able to pass out of the double team better. Just a lot of things – I just became a better player.”

JOB III On comparing himself with someone in the NBA and when he thinks he will get drafted…
“If you look at past LSU players – Brandon (Bass), Big Baby (Glen Davis), Marcus (Thornton) - they were all players who left early and had success. So I think they would be good comparisons as far as leaving early and having good success. I have no idea right now (when he will get drafted). I’ll know on draft day, all I can do is work hard like said – believe in God – and believe it’s all going to work out. “

JOB III On the temptations he may have had to come back for his senior year…
“I definitely thought about it. LSU is going to have a great team next year the way Coach Jones is recruiting and the guys he is bringing in, this program is going to continue to have success. I thought about it a lot, but I just feel like it was my time to leave and time to let other guys do their thing.”

JOB III On advice he has to give to his younger teammates…
“Just keep working hard, that’s all you can do man. That’s all I did, I just continued to work hard and things are going to happen. They definitely have the talent to be where they want to be. As long as they keep working hard things are going to fall into place.”
 

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