LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas sophomore Udoka Azubuike is entering his name into the 2018 NBA Draft without hiring an agent, Azubuike and KU head coach Bill Self announced Friday.
“I want to declare for this year’s (NBA) draft, but I am not going to hire an agent,” Azubuike said. “I’m going to wait and see where I stand among other bigs out there. I appreciate everyone’s support, but I’m not saying goodbye. I’m saying I want to find out. Like many other players, I’m curious.”
“I improved a lot this past season,” Azubuike continued. “All my teammates and all my coaches have helped me to grow in all areas of my life and I really appreciate what they did for me to get to this point.”
The move will allow Azubuike to receive evaluations from NBA teams and participate in the NBA Draft Combine, May 16-20, in Chicago. Azubuike will have until May 30 to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft should he choose to return to Kansas for his junior season in 2018-19.
“Udoka has been thinking about this since the end of the season and he feels it’s in his best interest to declare and test the waters which we, as a staff, totally understand and encourage him to do,” Self said. “He’s leaving the option to come back. Doke has improved a tremendous amount this year and we all look forward to seeing how his progression is until it is his time to make a decision on whether to stay in (the draft) or pull his name out.”
In 2017-18, Azubuike led NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.0, which broke the Kansas and Big 12 Conference single-season records. His 77.0 field goal percentage ranks second best for a season in NCAA history. The Delta, Nigeria, 7-foot-0, 280-pound center also led Kansas with six double-doubles, in rebound average at 7.0 boards per game, in blocked shots with 60 and in dunks with 120. A 2017-18 All-Big 12 Third-Team selection, Azubuike ranked seventh in the conference in rebound average, sixth in blocked shots (1.7) and eighth in double-doubles.
In 2017-18, Azubuike posted seven 20-point games, including a career-high 26 points at in KU’s win at Nebraska on Dec. 16. He had six games of 10 or more rebounds, including a career-high 13 boards in Kansas’ victory at Texas on Dec. 29.