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I Hereby Declare…

Kansas duo Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid have both declared for the 2014 NBA Draft.

Kansas duo Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid have both declared for the 2014 NBA Draft.

With the dust settling on Connecticut’s National Championship victory on Monday, the next stop for many of this season’s most outstanding college basketball players will be the 2014 NBA Draft, to be held in New York City on June 26.

As expected, the rumor mill is running overtime as underclassmen declare themselves eligible for the draft while others commit to another year in school. Then there are those that are “going to the NBA” according to sources, but not according to Twitter.

Wednesday’s headline material came as Kansas’ freshman center Joel Embiid declared he would be entering the draft as expected.

Embiid’s decision to lace them up against the NBA’s best has to be one of the most obvious decisions an undergraduate student athlete has ever had to make. Some scouts and prognosticators have the seven-footer going No. 1 overall, which would hardly be a stretch considering that big men are like gold dust when it comes to the Association.

Embiid will join fellow Jayhawk Andrew Wiggins in the green room on June 26. Wiggins, predicted to be a No. 1 pick ahead of this college season, decided the one-and-done route would work best for him too. You’d be hard pushed to find an NBA exec that would disagree.

On Thursday, ESPN.com reported that Michigan guard Nik Stauskas would be declaring for the draft too.

The sophomore took to Twitter to dispel the rumor, stating “I have NOT made ANY decisions on my future yet!” But there’s rarely smoke without a fire and nobody would be that shocked to see him declare sooner rather than later. After all, what are the odds of three straight Elite Eight appearances?

Stauskas isn’t the only player that “sources” have declared draft bound but claims otherwise.

Julius Randle and the rest of the Kentucky freshman remain undecided.

Julius Randle and the rest of the Kentucky freshman remain undecided.

ESPN also reported on Wednesday that Kentucky forward Julius Randle would be heading to New York in June.

Sure enough, Randle rubbished the rumor, tweeting “I haven’t made up my mind about the draft yet.”

The National Championship game didn’t exactly do Randle’s stock any favors. Looking out of place for much of the game, and certainly not looking like an NBA power forward, Randle would benefit from another year with John Calipari and the Wildcats. An improved post game would turn him into a potential No. 1 overall pick, which he was estimated to be before this season.

Still, there has to be at least 25 pro GMs that would take a chance of the 6-foot-9 forward without fear.

One player that won’t be heading for the draft is Florida forward Chris Walker. Walker confirmed he will return to Gator Nation for another year, a move that is in equal part surprising and sensible.

Having been academically ineligible to play until February 4, Walker only played limited minutes for Billy Donovan’s side this season, but remained a potential first round pick according to NBA scouts. The easy option would have been for him to forget about the hassles of the academic world and jump ship for the NBA. Instead, he elected to stick around.

Another year in Gainesville, Fla., will allow the 6-foot-10 forward to hone his skills and improve his stock, and with Florida’s seniors waving goodbye, he could even emerge as the focal point of the offense.

For those keeping check, there are still some quality players that have yet to indicate whether they’ll be on campus in the fall.

Players expected to make a splash if they do go pro include Duke duo Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood; Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson of Arizona; Gary Harris of Michigan State; and Jordan Adams of UCLA.

After coming up short in Monday’s National Championship game, Kentucky will await the status of its freshman class. As well as Randle, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison and James Young all currently grace projected draft lists, as does sophomore forward Willie Cauley-Stein.

Players have until Tuesday (Apr. 15) to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft.

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart is amongst those underclassmen that have already declared.

Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart is amongst those underclassmen that have already declared.

Underclassmen Already Declared

G/F Kyle Anderson (UCLA)

G Jabari Brown (Missouri)

G Jahii Cardon (Arizona State)

G Semaj Christon (Xavier)

C Joel Embiid (Kansas)

G Tyler Ennis (Syracuse)

G Zach LaVine (UCLA)

F James Michael McAdoo (North Carolina)

F Johnny O’Bryant III (LSU)

F LaQuinton Ross (Ohio State)

F JaKarr Sampson (St. John’s)

G Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)

F Roscoe Smith (UNLV)

F Noah Vonleh (Indiana)

F T. J. Warren (North Carolina State)

F Andrew Wiggins (Kansas)

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