Isaiah Austin

Baylor center Isaiah Austin officially enters the 2014 NBA Draft (VIDEO)

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Baylor sophomore center Isaiah Austin announced his intentions to enter the 2014 NBA Draft on Tuesday through a Google + video. The 7-foot-1 center could have declared for the NBA draft a season ago, but decided to return for a sophomore season, which ended in the Sweet 16 at the hands of Wisconsin.

Austin averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game this past season for the Bears. Those numbers were down from his averages of 13.0 points and 8.3 boards per game in 2012-2013. Austin has seen his draft stock dip from the previous year.

MOREThe entire list of players entering the 2014 NBA Draft

Following his freshman year, Austin underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum. That caused a slow start to his sophomore campaign. His production picked up in the postseason, scoring 14.0 points and grabbing 5.3 rebounds per game in the Big 12 Conference and NCAA tournaments.

Austin is projected as an early second round pick in’s latest mock draft. A pair of international centers — Artem Klimenko and Walter Tavares — are slotted ahead of him in the second round. Michigan sophomore big man Mitch McGary is currently projected as the last pick of the first round, though, he has yet to declare.

A week ago, reports surfaced that he would turn pro, only to have Austin refute those rumors hours later.

Stanford loses key veteran guard to stress fracture

Marcus Allen
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Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.

“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”

The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.

What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.

The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.