Freshman guard Bradley Beal announced today he will be entering the 2012 NBA draft, and is projected to go in the top ten. The first team all Southeastern Conference guard averaged 14.8 points per game, and led the Gators in rebounds averaging 6.7 per game. Beal started all 37 games this season, and led the team in minutes at 34.2. Beal says it was a really tough decision to enter the draft and it was never his intent to leave after just one year of college.
With Beal’s help, Florida finished the season at 26-11 and made it to the elite eight for its second consecutive year. Beal is projected to be drafted anywhere from 3rd to 7th overall, and is expected to end up in Sacramento, Portland, Charlotte, or some other NBA team selecting very high in the draft. Beal says he is putting a lot of emphasis on the mental aspect of the transition from college ball to the NBA.
Gators head coach Billy Donovan says Beal was extremely mature throughout the whole process, and doesn’t think his decision was influenced by anyone. Donovan adds Beal will be able to handle anything thrown at him in the NBA.
For now, Beal is focusing on training and preparing for the draft as he gets that much closer to achieving his NBA dream.