Vucevic Announces He Will Enter the 2011 NBA Draft
March 25, 2011
USC forward Nikola Vucevic will forego his senior season, sign with an agent and enter the 2011 NBA Draft, he announced today (March 25) at a press conference held at the Galen Center.
"After consulting with coach Kevin O'Neill and my family for the past few weeks, I have decided to skip my senior season and enter the NBA Draft," stated Vucevic. "It was a very tough decision for me because I really love USC and my teammates."
"Nikola is a special part of our team," said O'Neill. "There were many discussions, including last summer when I went to Montenegro. Nikola feels this is the right time for him and we fully support him in his decision. At no point did I try to talk him out of it. We did the research, presented the pros and cons to him and we back him 100 percent in his decision. He is a special talent and has the ability to defend both the 4 and 5 positions at the NBA level, which is a plus. What people often forget is that Nikola will not turn 21 until late October."
Vucevic averaged 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds in 2011 and helped USC earn an NCAA Tournament berth. He scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in USC's first-round loss to VCU which was his 22nd double-double of the season, fifth best in the country. Vucevic became the first Trojan to average a double-double since Jaha Wilson in the 1994-95 season. Vucevic was named to the 2010-11 All-Pac-10 First Team and was tabbed a FOXSports.com All-America Fourth Team member. His 350 rebounds in 2011 rank as the third most in a single-season by a Trojan and his 582 points scored were the 10th-most in a season by a Trojan.
The Trojans' multi-talented big man played 87 games in his 3-year career for USC, averaging 11.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. His 694 career rebounds tie him for 13th on USC's all-time list and he became the only Trojan to capture the Pac-10 rebound title in consecutive seasons, a feat he accomplished in 2010 and 2011. His 8.0 career rebounding average ranks 10th all-time by a Trojan.