DAYTON, OH - MARCH 14: Victor Rudd Jr. #2 of the South Florida Bulls dunks in the second half against Justin Cobbs #1 of the California Golden Bears in the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 14, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
One day after USF's memorable NCAA Tournament run ended, the Bulls had surprising news, as sophomore forward Victor Rudd announced he was forgoing his final two years and submitting his name for early entry into the NBA Draft.
"After meeting with my family, I have decided to forgo what would be my junior year at South Florida University (cq) and enter my name into the 2012 NBA Draft," Rudd was quoted as saying in an e-mail sent to the Times. "At this time, I will not be hiring an agent."
Not hiring an agent means Rudd can still change his mind later. Thing is, he has to decide by April 10 if he wants to pull his name back out of consideration and return to... South Florida University, oh wait, that's USF. (Man, it's right there on the front of the jersey and everything.) That's a full two and a half months before the NBA Draft, and only eight days after the Final Four ends, which means Rudd will have an incomplete-at-best picture of whether or not he's draftable.
USF's release (which is not online at this time) added this from Stan Heath:
"Victor Rudd spoke with me and let me know that he wanted to test the waters of the NBA draft," said head coach Stan Heath. "We will do everything we can to help get accurate info for him so he can make a wise decision. We are supportive of him and he will not hire an agent. He is definitely keeping his options open in regards to returning to USF after seeing what his options are with the NBA."
The only way this really makes sense to me is if Rudd is just putting his name out there to get feedback from NBA scouts on what he needs to work on so he can be drafted later. He can turn himself into an NBA-worthy player, but he has quite a ways to go right now. (Keep in mind that when Dominique Jones left a season early for the pros, he was coming off a season where he averaged 21.4 points a game. Rudd scored just 9.3 per game this past season. He can dunk the hell out of the ball, but he wasn't as proficient at getting his own shot like DoJo was.)
It seems weird that yesterday Rudd was talking to Greg Auman and the rest of the media about getting back into the weight room and preparing to build off this season, and then today he's like, "Well, I'm leaving!" I hope this really is just testing the waters, because otherwise this is my reaction: