California forward Brown enters NBA Draft

AP Photo/Ben Margot
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With two highly regarded freshmen on the roster, California head coach Cuonzo Martin had to prepare for the possibility that at least one of them would be leaving Berkeley after one season. That came to fruition Thursday afternoon, as Jaylen Brown announced at a press conference on campus that he will forego his final three seasons of eligibility and enter the 2016 NBA Draft.

Projected to be a lottery pick in this summer’s Draft by DraftExpress.com, it comes as no surprise that the Georgia native would decide to move on.

Brown averaged 14.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season, shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from beyond the arc. The perimeter shot is the area where Brown will need to show improvement during pre-Draft workouts, as he’s a physically gifted talent who managed to hurt opponents via dribble penetration on many occasions playing either the three or as an undersized four.

With Brown moving on Cal is still awaiting a decision from power forward Ivan Rabb, who some believe may be more likely to remain on campus for another season. But with just one player in their 2016 recruiting class (junior college transfer Don Coleman; UNLV transfer Jordan Cornish will have to sit out next season), Martin and his staff have some work to do even if Rabb were to return.

Jordan Mathews and Jabari Bird are both expected to return for their senior seasons, as is reserve Roger Moute a Bidias.