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Aaron Carrara

Jaxson Hayes to declare for the NBA Draft

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Per the University, freshman forward Jaxson Hayes will hire an agent and declare for the upcoming NBA Draft.

The release from Texas:

AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas freshman forward Jaxson Hayes has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft and will hire an agent, the school announced Thursday.

“First, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play this game I love so much,” Hayes said. “Next, I would like to thank my family, the entire Texas coaching staff and my teammates for helping me get to this point in my career. I’m so appreciative of Coach Shaka Smart for pushing me every day to improve and mature, both on the basketball court and as a person. I would also like to thank everyone else who has helped support me. Lastly, thank you to all the Longhorn fans and the people of Cincinnati who have been there cheering me on the whole way.”

“With that being said, I have always dreamed about playing in the NBA,” Hayes continued. “Now that I have the chance to realize that dream, I would like to pursue that opportunity. I am declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft and will be hiring an agent.”

Hayes earned recognition as the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and claimed spots on the All-Big 12 Second Team, the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team, the Big 12 All-Freshman Team and the NABC All-District 8 Second Team. He led the team and ranked third in the Big 12 Conference in blocks per game (2.22 bpg), second on the team in rebounding (5.0 rpg) and third in scoring (10.0 ppg) while averaging 23.3 mpg. Hayes converted 72.8-percent (123-169) of his field goal attempts this year, setting a UT single-season record for field goal percentage (previous: 65.4-percent by Dexter Pittman in 2009-10).

“I’m really proud of Jaxson for the tremendous attitude he’s demonstrated all year and the unprecedented growth that he’s made,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “He’ll always be a part of our Longhorn Basketball family, and we look forward to supporting him in the next steps of his journey.”

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Most days I wonder about the intelligence and scruples of the folks running professional sports teams.  So, I suspect he will be drafted.  He better be content with spending next year in the development league, or parked on a European team.  As we all heard, the TV throats constantly labeled him as a lottery pick.  Two years ago he wasn't a starter on his high school team and now a lottery pick....wow.   Yes, he has a ton of raw athletic ability and basketball potential.  But, in the tournament, I saw a handful of big guys who are much stronger, more physically mature and better basketball players than Jaxson.  I'm just a lay-person, so what the hell do I know...

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Good luck to the young man. Would've been shocked if he stayed considering he's consistently projected as a lottery pick. Totally agree that he would benefit from another year in college basketball, but that's the nature of the beast.

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How many jobs can you get that pay 6 or 7 figures after one year of college? I never fault guys for leaving early. He is far from a polished player but why not get paid while learning his trade. Good or bad, it’s the system right now. I miss the great college teams we saw before the “one and done” era but it is what it is. 

Best of luck to him!

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