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With Keith Clanton graduating the UCF program had one major hole to address in the off-season before it begins play in the American Athletic Conference next season.
But with the school announcing on Thursday that junior guard Isaiah Sykes has decided to go through the NBA Draft process there’s a chance that the Knights may have to take on new opponents such as Cincinnati, UConn and Temple without its most talented player.
“This is a great opportunity for Isaiah and we support his decision,” UCF head coach Donnie Jones said in the statement. “He will be able to learn more about what NBA executives think about his game and we will be there to help him gather information throughout the process.”
Sykes submitted his information to the NBA undergraduate advisory committee, and according to the school he will not hire an agent. Per NCAA rules an underclassman has until April 16 to withdraw from the draft.
Sykes, a 6-5 guard from Detroit, started all 31 games in 2012-13 and posted averages of 16.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals per contest. Sykes tallied two triple-doubles on the season, becoming the first player in the history of Conference USA to post multiple triple-doubles in the same campaign.
For his efforts Sykes was a first team All-Conference USA selection, and he was also named to the league’s All-Defensive Team.
“Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine and I am excited to be able to learn more about my draft stock,” Sykes said in the statement. “I am looking forward to going through the process and I appreciate Coach Jones and the entire staff helping me.”