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LSU's Anthony Randolph
Photo by: LSUsports.net, LSU Athletics Publications
LSU Forward Anthony Randolph To Put Name In For NBA Draft
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Published: April 08, 2008, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:32 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE – LSU forward Anthony Randolph, an honorable mention choice as Freshman All-America, announced on Tuesday that he will put his name in to the National Basketball Association for the 2008 NBA Draft.

The deadline to complete paperwork for this year’s draft is April 27. The NBA Draft is June 26.

Randolph stated at the press conference he at this time has not retained an agent and no decision on that matter has been made by Randolph or his family. Should they decide not to interact with an agent during the process prior to the draft, the window still remains open that Randolph could take his name out of the draft and return to LSU for his sophomore season.

“After much discussion with my family and those closest to me, I feel that there cannot be a better time for me to enter the NBA Draft,” said Randolph in his opening statement. “I am well aware of the challenges young men face when entering the professional ranks of any career. However, I believe I am ready to face these challenges with a positive attitude, and I have faith and determination that I will succeed in these endeavors.

“I have really enjoyed my time at Louisiana State University. LSU has been a good opportunity for me,” he said.

The 6-10 Randolph averaged 15.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks during the 2007-08 campaign as the only LSU player to start all 31 games during the season. It was in the last nine games when his game really began to draw notice of the scouts as his scoring average went from 13.6 to its final average of 15.6 points per game. During that nine-game stretch he had five games over 20 points and four double doubles and averaged 20.1 points.

For the season, Randolph had nine games over 20 points, 27 games in double figures and nine double doubles.

Besides being named honorable mention freshman A-A by collegehoops.net, Randolph was a unanimous pick to the Coaches SEC All-Freshman team after leading all freshmen in rebounds and blocks and finishing fifth among freshman in scoring. He was named to the Associated Press All-SEC Honorable Mention grouping, was a first team All-Louisiana selection and was named the Freshman of the Year as selected by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

“It’s amazing that this is about the fourth or fifth time with Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas, Stromile Swift and Brandon Bass that these guys have had so much success after one or two years,” said LSU Interim Head Men’s Basketball Coach Butch Pierre. “For Anthony (Randolph) to be doing what he is doing now after his freshman year is pretty remarkable. Anthony Randolph, during the recruiting process, chose LSU for various reasons. I think the progress that he made the last five weeks of the season and the way he played and was able to show all of his talents, it seemed as through his evaluation with the NBA and his family is one of the reasons he decided.

“He’s matured in a way where early on in the season he learned a lot of things, and I think the decision that he’s making right now is a good decision. I support whatever he wanted to do,” Pierre said. “Anthony is one of those guys who doesn’t show a lot of facial expressions. When he walked into my office on the third floor in the latter part of the year, in the last three or four weeks, he showed more expression, and that’s the maturity and what the people in the NBA see in him. I hope with the experience he has obtained here at LSU, he will remain connected to LSU and the LSU family. That is important, and I think that is the reason he decided to make this announcement right here and instead of just saying that he’s going to put his name in the draft.”

Overall in league stats, Randolph was 12th in the league in scoring, third in rebounds, 11th in field goal percentage, third in blocked shots and second in defensive rebounds.

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Anthony Randolph Press Conference

April 8, 2008

Forward Anthony Randolph

Opening statement...

“Before I make my announcement, I would like to thank Christ Jesus. His grace and mercy has sustained and blessed me, and without him, I would not be here today. Also, I would like to thank my family and friends, especially my mother and father and coaches Pat Washington and Butch Pierre. They really helped me developed as a person and a basketball player. In addition, I would like to thank Coach (John) Treloar, Coach (Chad) Dollar, (Strength Coach Gayle) Hatch and the entire LSU basketball staff for their guidance over the past year. I also would like to thank all of my teammates. It has been an incredible experience playing for them, and I am very grateful for the friends that I have made.

“After much discussion with my family and those closest to me, I feel that there cannot be a better time for me to enter the NBA Draft. I am well aware of the challenges young men face when entering the professional ranks of any career. However, I believe I am ready to face these challenges with a positive attitude, and I have faith and determination that I will succeed in these endeavors.

“I have really enjoyed my time at Louisiana State University. LSU has been a good opportunity for me. The opportunity to gain an education from one of the finest schools in the country, meet many new people and friends, play in the greatest basketball conference in the country and to develop as a basketball player. Even as I prepare for physical and mental challenges of the NBA, I remain committed to obtaining my degree from LSU.

“Finally, I would like to thank all of the LSU fans, family and alumni for their support this past year. All of you are the biggest reasons I had such a tremendous experience playing for the Tigers. I would like everyone to know that I will be cheering for my team and the University for the rest of my life as they move on and continue to play for national championships in every sport, especially men’s basketball. Having said that, it is now my time to say goodbye as an LSU basketball player, but as always, go Tigers!”

Head coach Butch Pierre

Opening Statement

“It’s amazing that this is about the fourth or fifth time with Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas, Stromile Swift and Brandon Bass that these guys have had so much success after one or two years. For Anthony (Randolph) to be doing what he is doing now after his freshman year is pretty remarkable. Anthony Randolph, during the recruiting process, chose LSU for various reasons. I think the progress that he made the last five weeks of the season and the way he played and was able to show all of his talents, it seemed as though his evaluation with the NBA and his family is one of the reasons he decided.

“He’s been a remarkable young man. He’s been on time for everything. He’s matured in a way where early on in the season he learned a lot of things, and I think the decision that he’s making right now is a good decision. I support whatever he wanted to do. Anthony is one of those guys who doesn’t show a lot of facial expressions. When he walked into my office on the third floor in the latter part of the year, in the last three or four weeks, he showed more expression, and that’s the maturity and what the people in the NBA see in him. I hope with the experience he has obtained here at LSU, he will remain connected to LSU and the LSU family. That is important, and I think that is the reason he decided to make this announcement right here and instead of just saying that he’s going to put his name in the draft.

“LSU has done a lot for him. With the stage that LSU has, I hope we will continue to get players like Anthony and continue the success of trying to win a Southeastern Conference championship and a national championship.”

On if he was late to the press conference because someone was trying to convince him to stay...

Randolph -- “No, sir. I was just a little bit nervous about making my decision and Coach Pierre was trying to encourage me, and he did.”

On if he would have stayed if Butch Pierre were named head coach...

Randolph -- “Like I said, it was a hard decision. I wouldn’t want to play for any coach other than Coach Pierre, but I had to make the decision that was best for my family.”

On if he thinks he would still be here if Butch Pierre were the head coach...

Randolph -- “That’s a hypothetical question. I can’t answer that because that would be under different circumstances.”

Pierre -- “Let me say this. To help Anthony with these questions you all are asking him. I counseled Anthony right when the season ended with his family. He and I were in the office after spring break and he went through the evaluation process at that time. I counseled him before and I think that no young man should base his future on who is going to be the coach when he is in that situation. I didn’t want my situation to affect his situation. I don’ think the decision was based just upon the coach and I think he had his mind made up before now. I think he waited until the Final Four was over so that he wouldn’t take away from that.

“Anthony has fulfilled all of his academic obligations. He’s in school and he’s worked closely with the academic department. He and his family have sat down with the compliance office and covered all of the rules in terms of entering his name in the NBA Draft. So I think he’s done everything he’s been expected to do in this situation. For any young man to be projected as high as he has been projected has a decision to make. That’s the most important thing.

“During the recruiting process I told him that I could pick ‘em. He should have been a McDonald’s All-American and that’s been proven now. I also told him that if he stays at LSU for more than two years it’s his fault. The last five weeks of the season I became the coach and he just blew up the charts. That’s what happened.”

On if he planned to move on to the NBA quickly prior to coming to LSU...

Randolph -- “No ma’am. My intention was to come in and get an education from one of the best universities in the country and also to learn under the guidance of a great coaching staff, and I’ve done that. All of the stuff that’s happening now has just been icing on the cake.”

On what advice he received and where he’s heard he may be drafted...

Randolph -- “As far as my draft stock, I really don’t know. I just know that I have the opportunity of being selected in the first round. As far as advice, I was counseled by my family and the coaches and we all came to the conclusion that right now would be the best time for me to pursue my professional career.”

On what his fondest memory of LSU will be...

Randolph -- “It’s two memories: the Florida game and the Georgia game. After the coaching change, we were coming off an emotional low and for us to come together as a team and to play how we did with so much enthusiasm and emotion was great.”

On what made him change his mind in the last month...

Randolph -- “Not much has changes. It’s just that when I sat down with my family and the coaches we all came to the conclusion that this would be the best time. Nothing has changed, my heart is still with LSU and it always will be.”

On when the decision was made and if the coaching change influenced him at all...

Randolph -- “Coach Pierre told me when he brought me into his office at the end of the season that he didn’t want me to make my decision off his situation; that [the coaching change] wasn’t part of the decision. My family and I made the decision about a week ago.”

On signing with a particular agent --

Randolph – “ I haven’t signed with any agent and I don’t plan to any time soon. I’ll make that decision as time goes on.”

On if he’s thought about what he’ll spend his first dollar of NBA money on...

Randolph -- “No ma’am, that’s not what I’m focused on right now. I’m focused on getting into the gym and working hard.”

On if he thinks he will sign with an agent before the draft...

Randolph -- “I don’t know. When that time comes we’ll make that decision.”

On if he is leaving the door open to a return...

Randolph -- “I can’t answer that right now. I’ll be able to answer that later on as I go through the trainings and the workouts with the coaches.”

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