TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona freshman center Deandre Ayton was only expected to play for the Wildcats for one season. There is little doubt he will go early in the NBA Draft in June, perhaps even first overall.
The only surprise about Ayton's announcement that he is turning pro is that it came on March 15.
Ayton and the Wildcats had hopes of a deep NCAA Tournament run. That ended with a surprising loss in the first round to Buffalo.
Following the game Thursday night, Ayton announced his intentions to enter the NBA Draft.
"I think it's the right thing to do, right now, said Ayton. "I think I'm ready for the NBA. I just have to finish off school right and just work this summer and play for the draft."
Junior guard Alonzo Trier also announced his intentions to leave Arizona and enter this June's NBA Draft.
"I'm not worried about [jumping to the NBA] right now, but I'm closing the book on this chapter and looking forward to the next one in my life," Trier told ESPN. "It's a pleasure to be coached by [Sean Miller] and be a part of him and this program for three years."
The departure of Ayton and Trier means the Wildcats are losing their top five scorers from this season. Sean Miller currently has no commitments in their 2018 recruiting class.