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May 25, 2007

Crittenton says he will stay in NBA draft

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech point guard Javaris Crittenton says a lack of depth at the point guard position in the NBA draft reinforced his decision to turn pro after one season with the Yellow Jackets.

Crittenton said Friday he is interviewing agents.

"I'm just feeling like I'm prepared to play in the NBA right now, and looking at the number of point guards in the draft, I feel this is the right time," Crittenton said.

Another Georgia Tech freshman, forward Thaddeus Young, has entered his name in the draft but has yet to hire an agent. He has until June 18 to withdraw.

Crittenton made the decision to stay in the June 28 draft after meeting with his family and coach Paul Hewitt. The guard shared the team lead with an average of 14.4 points per game and ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 5.8 assists per game.

When Crittenton declared for the draft, he was not ranked highly in mock drafts. Since then, he has climbed into the top half of the first round in several projections.

"I think a lot of people expected me to return to school," Crittenton said. "They look at players, especially point guards, to stay in school for more years."

NBAdraft.net projects Crittenton as the No. 15 pick and Young at No. 13.

Some have suggested the Atlanta Hawks could take Crittenton with the No. 11 pick, the team's second first-round choice.

Crittenton said he would relish the opportunity to remain in Atlanta.

"I think it would be a great opportunity for me, being with the Hawks organization," he said. "They have some good point guards but a lot of their fans suggested they need another point guard to come in."

The 6-foot-5 Crittenton helped lead Tech to a 20-12 record and a berth in the NCAA tournament. He is the seventh Tech underclassmen to enter the NBA and the first since Jarrett Jack in 2005.

"I think it will always be a good decision for any player to remain in school because you learn so much," Crittenton said. "I feel I'm more prepared after this one year. In another year I could learn more, but I think I'm prepared to leave now."

For more coverage of Georgia Tech, visit JacketsOnline.com.



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