FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas guard BJ Young is entering the 2013 NBA Draft.
Young announced his plans with a message on Twitter on Thursday, saying “thank you ARKANSAS for everything I have unconditional love for this place and people here.” The St. Louis native joins teammate Marshawn Powell, who announced his plans on Twitter on Tuesday, in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Young leaves after two seasons with the Razorbacks. He also declared for the 2012 NBA Draft, but did not sign with an agent and withdrew his name. Young is not permitted to withdraw his name from the draft pool for a second time.
“I met with BJ and his father today and BJ expressed his interest to enter his name in the NBA Draft,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said in a news release. “This is his dream and as a coach I encourage him to pursue that dream. I gave him the pros and cons of his decision and he chose to enter the draft. BJ has become a well-rounded player, leading us in scoring and assists and he became a more active rebounder.”
Young returned to Arkansas in 2012-13 in hopes of establishing himself as a lottery pick. But he’ll leave the Razorbacks with most mock drafts projected Young anywhere from a late first- to early second-round selection this summer.
Young led the Razorbacks in scoring as a freshman (15.3 points) and sophomore (15.2 points). He improved in some areas of his all-around game, averaging a team-high 3.4 assists to go along with 3.5 rebounds in 27.9 minutes last season.
Young also turned in a handful of highlight moments, including game-winning baskets against Georgia and Missouri in Bud Walton Arena. But the 6-foot-3 guard also endured his share of struggles. He shot just 23.4 percent from behind the 3-point line as a sophomore a year after making 41.3 percent.
But his departure means Arkansas will move on without its top two scorers from 2012-13. Forward Coty Clarke is now the team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder after averaging 7.6 points and 5.2 rebounds his first season.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau