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MavKikiNYC
04-17-2006, 10:27 PM
April 17, 2006
LSU's Thomas Declares for the Draft

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 8:52 p.m. ET
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU freshman forward Tyrus Thomas declared for the NBA draft Monday, while sophomore teammate and Southeastern Conference player of the year Glen Davis said he is coming back to the Tigers.

''When you're hot, you're hot,'' Thomas said of his decision, which comes just three weeks after he and Davis helped the Tigers make the Final Four. ''I have to take advantage of the opportunity available to me. I know I have to improve both physically and mentally. But, this is a great opportunity for myself and my family.''

Thomas, the conference's freshman of the year and co-defensive player of the year, signed with an agent Sunday night, a move that ended his college career. ''I came to the conclusion that signing was what I really wanted to do in my heart. I can get more things accomplished faster on the business side this way.''

Davis, the athletic and personable inside presence known as ''Big Baby,'' said he still has unfinished business in college.

''There are a lot of things I want to accomplish, not only as a player but as a person,'' Davis said. ''Furthermore, I feel that college is the best time of my life. I feel that staying at LSU will help me mentally and physically. I just want to make it clear that I will be here next year to further my education and to be with family members -- my teammates.''

Both Davis and Thomas played key roles in the Tigers' run to their first Final Four appearance in 20 years. Davis averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds a game this past season.

''Playing in that last game left a terrible taste in my mouth,'' Davis said of the Tigers' semifinal loss to UCLA. ''I'm a competitor. I want to leave on top. Not only do I want to be the best player, but I want to win.

''I have to enjoy these moments. I put them in my book of memories. I'm a young adult and I'm still having fun. The next level is business and you have to approach it as a business. One more year will help me be the player I want to be.''

Thomas, who sat out his first season at LSU as a redshirt, came off the bench for the first 10 games of the 2005 season before starting against Cincinnati. Late in the regular season, he injured an ankle against Kentucky and missed four games.

Still, he averaged 12 points and nine rebounds a game and also blocked a team-high 99 shots. In LSU's NCAA tournament victories against Duke (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/d/duke_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and Texas, Thomas scored 30 points, grabbed 26 rebounds and blocked eight shots.

''There is no question in my mind that Tyrus will be successful,'' coach John Brady said. ''When Tyrus came out of McKinley High School, I don't think anybody in this room thought he would be one of the top five players in the NBA draft.''

Brady, who also saw Stromile Swift and Brandon Bass leave after their sophomore seasons, has watched both Davis and Thomas develop in their two years on campus.

''I've seen both Tyrus and Glen grow up and mature,'' Brady said. ''What Tyrus is doing is good and what Glen is doing is good. It's a testament to this program that not one but two guys are able to be picked in the first round. What this shows is that when players come to LSU, they improve and get better.''

dirno2000
04-17-2006, 10:57 PM
I don't think he's a top 5 five talent but this may fall under the heading of "you gotta draft somebody". His athleticism at least gives him a chance to be a good player.

cchen39
04-17-2006, 11:43 PM
Just another Stromile Swift.

sike
04-18-2006, 09:03 AM
Just another Stromile Swift.
wow....that like cursing the guy...do you practice voodoo cchen?

birdsanctuary
04-18-2006, 01:17 PM
Isiah Thomas with the 5th pick selects ....

Big Boy Laroux
04-18-2006, 01:32 PM
cchen, that is dead on. hell, they even look alike. tyrus thomas is the second coming of stromile swift. look out, NBA!

rakesh.s
04-18-2006, 07:42 PM
Isiah Thomas with the 5th pick selects ....

the bulls own the knicks' pick and the knicks are probably going to get the top overall pick.

ocelot_ark
04-18-2006, 10:47 PM
I like Thomas...but Swift, IMO, was a much more attractive prospect coming out of college.