University of Miami

This is how the UM basketball coach feels about Brown hiring agent for the NBA Draft

University of Miami sophomore guard Bruce Brown (No. 11) will not be back with the Hurricanes next season. He hired an agent for the NBA Draft, foregoing his final two years of eligibility.
University of Miami sophomore guard Bruce Brown (No. 11) will not be back with the Hurricanes next season. He hired an agent for the NBA Draft, foregoing his final two years of eligibility. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Bruce Brown went from dipping his toe into the NBA waters to taking the full plunge. The University of Miami sophomore guard hired an agent, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility, confirmed UM coach Jim Larrañaga.

When Brown declared for the NBA Draft on March 22, he said he was not hiring an agent so that he could keep the option open of returning to the Hurricanes so long as he withdrew from the draft by June 11. By retaining an agent, he has jeopardized that option.

Brown, 6-5, did not have the sophomore season he or fans had expected. His points per game (11.4), field-goal percentage (.415), three-point percentage (.267) and free-throw percentage (.629) declined from his freshman season. He improved his rebounding (7.1 rpg) and assists (4 apg). Brown injured his left foot in the middle of the ACC season, required surgery, and played his last game on January 27.

Brown is ranked No. 29 on the mock draft of ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who wrote that Brown is “a willing passer, lockdown defender, and gritty rebounder.”

Larrañaga said he “spoke extensively” with Brown after his freshman season and recently about his NBA plans.

“Bruce is physically and mentally mature, is 21 years old and feels this is a decision that can change his life and this is the right time,” Larrañaga said. “His goal has always been to be an NBA player, so it’s very natural for him to take this next step. I thought we were lucky last year that he didn’t put his name in after the year he had, scoring 30 against Carolina, 25 against Duke. So many NBA scouts have come to our practices and told me they feel he’s a first-round pick this year.”

The injury also may have motivated him.

“It’s only natural after recovering from an injury like he did to think, ‘Boy, if I get hurt again, it could drop my stock,’” Larrañaga said.

Players have until April 22 to enter the draft and until June 11 to withdraw. The draft is June 21.

The Miami Hurricanes were awarded a No. 6 seed and will play No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago (28-5) on Thursday in Dallas, which is also the site for the sixth-seeded Florida Gators.

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