As expected, Kosta Koufos appears to be throwing his name
into the NBA draft.
According to a Monday report from the Canton Repository, Koufos will declare for the NBA draft but not
hire an agent – keeping his eligibility to return to Ohio State intact. Friday,
BuckeyeSports.com reported that Koufos would likely pursue this option. He
would have until June 16 to withdraw his name.
This season, the 7-1 freshman averaged 14.4 points and 6.7
rebounds per game. Though he didn’t consistently live up to the lofty
expectations given to him as a McDonald’s All-American selection last year in
high school, Ohio State clearly benefitted from Koufos playing at his best.
Should Koufos, going through pre-draft workouts over the
next seven weeks, determine he’s unhappy with his possible draft position,
playing in his family’s native Greece would be another option. Reportedly,
Koufos turned down a 3-year $5 million deal last summer, instead opting to
trudge forward with his career at Ohio State. Now Koufos is staring down a
possible $5 million deal per season to play professionally in Europe.
And that might be enough.
Sources told BuckeyeSports.com Friday that returning to Ohio
State was the least-likely option for Koufos of three possible choices. Even if
Koufos withdraws his name by the deadline, it’s possible, if not likely that he
decides to forego his NCAA eligibility to instead pursue at least a season spent
in Greece – where he one day hopes to play for the Greek Olympic team.
It was a catch-22 for Ohio State with the 7-footer.
Earlier in the season, when his stock was down, he was
reportedly disappointed with the role he played and the amount of time spent in
the post. But when Koufos was given his preferential role later in the season, he
played the best basketball all season – sending his stock sky-rocketing.
Though his mother, Katerina, has not yet been reached for
comment, she told the Columbus Dispatch
last week that Kosta would likely hold a press conference in his hometown
Canton if they decided to go the route of declaring for the NBA. Sources are
now saying that might take place as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.
Kofous becomes the 11th player to declare for the
NBA draft since the season ended. Experts have suggested this 2007 recruiting
class, which includes Michael Beasley, Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love and
Eric Gordon, is one of the most talented ever to step foot on college campuses.
BuckeyeSports.com will continue to monitor the situation.