The Kansas Jayhawks announced that freshman Cliff Alexander will forego the remainder of his eligibility and enter the 2015 NBA Draft.
During his freshman campaign, Alexander averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 rebounds, but was forced to miss the final eight games due to eligibility issues. Alexander, or his family members, reportedly accepted improper benefits during his stay at Kansas thus provoking the suspension.
“This should come as no surprise,” Self said. “Cliff had a very interesting … year.”
The 6-foot-8 forward is projected to be a late first round to early second round pick. However, a strong series of workouts should elevate the star freshman into the first round.
Alexander was always viewed as an elite recruit, but staying in school could have catapulted him safely into the lottery.
Still, money remained a pressing issue for Alexander and his family and the desire to leave school early for the significant income that came along with it was too difficult to pass up. Furthermore, Alexander faced the real possibility of being suspended again for the 2015-16 season solidifying his decision to enter the draft.
“We all feel bad for Cliff for what he and our team had to go through because it was difficult for him to sit and watch his teammates play without him,” Self said in a press release. “During his time here, Cliff certainly got better. I loved coaching Cliff. But we support his decision 100 percent to move on and take his ability to the next level.”
Meanwhile, Kansas and coach Self will be faced with the difficult task of replacing one of his premier players. The Jayhawks again underachieved in 2014-15 and will be looking for more next year.
*Section Photo Credit: Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports; Featured Photo (above) credit to Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports