UA basketball standout BJ Young to enter NBA draft

That didn’t last long.

University of Arkansas sophomore guard BJ Young has declared his intention to enter the 2013 National Basketball Association Draft, Razorback head coach Mike Anderson announced Thursday.

Young, a 6-3 guard from St. Louis, Mo., submitted his name for consideration for the 2012 draft before ultimately deciding to return the Razorbacks.  His second year in Fayetteville saw him average a team high 15.2 points, and also lead the team with 102 assists and 27.9 minutes played per game.

Young shot 45% from the floor, averaged 3.5 rebounds per game and was No. 5 in the Southeastern Conference in scoring, No. 5 in field goal percentage and No. 9 in assists per game.

“I met with BJ and his father today and BJ expressed his interest to enter his name in the NBA Draft,” Anderson said in a statement. “This is his dream and as a coach I encourage him to pursue that dream. I gave him the pros and cons of his decision and he chose to enter the draft. BJ has become a well-rounded player, leading us in scoring and assists and he became a more active rebounder.”

Young earned second-team All-SEC honors by the SEC coaches for the second consecutive year as well as honorable mention All-SEC accolades by the Associated Press. A two-time United States Basketball Writers Association All-District VII selection, Young scored in double figures 23 times as a sophomore including nine 20-plus point games.

He was named the SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 31 after nearly posting a triple-double against Northwestern State with 26 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.  During the 2012-13 preseason, Young was named to the John R. Wooden award preseason top 50 as well as the Naismith Award watch list.

Over the course of his two years in Fayetteville, Young scored 958 points for an average of 15.2 per game. He dished 178 assists, grabbed 3.3 rebounds per contest and shot 47.5% from the floor and 70.4% from the free throw line.

In SEC play, Young averaged 14.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest with 87 assists and 30 steals. As a freshman Young became just the fifth player in school history to earn all-league and all-freshman team honors in the same season and were just the third freshman in Arkansas history to score 30-plus points in a game when he tallied 31 against Florida.