Kansas loses freshman Kelly Oubre Jr. to 2015 NBA Draft

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Kansas freshman wing Kelly Oubre Jr. is declaring for the 2015 NBA Draft, the school announced on Wednesday. The 6-foot-7 former McDonald’s All-American started 27 games for the Big 12-champion Jayhawks in 2014-15 and averaged 9.3 points and 5 rebounds per game.

“I’m leaving the University of Kansas for the upcoming NBA Draft,” Oubre said in the release. “It’s always been a dream to play in the NBA. This is an opportunity to play against the best in the world and expand my game in hopes of someday becoming one of those great players. It’s been a great year. I’ve been blessed to be here at the University of Kansas. I was blessed to go through the things that I went through and I was blessed to play for coach [Bill Self]. He taught me a lot this year, the little things that will help out my game a lot.”

Oubre had an up-and-down freshman season highlighted by three 20-point games during the season. The former five-star recruit shot 44 percent from the field and 35 percent from the 3-point line in 2014-15. Although Oubre wasn’t always consistent, he does possess a tremendous amount of upside going forward and will get plenty of lottery consideration from NBA teams this June.

Draft Express currently has Oubre as the No. 13 overall pick in their latest 2015 NBA mock draft, which would place him right near the end of the lottery. With solid workouts, Oubre could elevate his stock significantly over these next few months.

While Kansas loses another talented freshman to the NBA Draft, they had to be expecting this sort of thing when Oubre starting garnering NBA Draft buzz as early as last summer.

“This should come as really no surprise to anybody that has followed us,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said in the release. “Kelly came in being well thought of by NBA personnel and certainly, nothing has changed in that regard. In the time he was here he’s been a great ambassador, a great teammate and, obviously, a very talented player.”