MEMPHIS, April 15 (UPI) -- Memphis freshman Derrick Rose announced Tuesday he will leave the NCAA finalist Tigers and enter the NBA draft.
Rose averaged 14.9 points and 4.7 assists per game in the regular season and 20.8 points in six NCAA tournament games. The Tigers finished as national runners-up to Kansas. The Wooden Award finalist had 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds in the 75-68 overtime defeat.
"I have decided to make myself eligible for the 2008 NBA draft," Rose said. "This is not a step I take lightly, although it has always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA. After weighing all of the options -- with which I am blessed -- I feel that it is the right time for me to take this step."
Memphis Coach John Calipari called Rose one of the great players he has coached, "but of even more importance, he is one of the greatest teammates I've been around."