According to multiple reports, Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr. will announce his intention to leave school early and enter his name for the 2013 NBA Draft this afternoon at McDonough Gymnasium.
“I mean it was hard,” Porter said in his opening statement. “It was a tough decision. I love Georgetown. I love my coaches. I love my teammates. I would like to come back and finish my degree [at some point].”
With head coach John Thompson III by his side, the sophomore is expected to announce what many draft experts have been speculating for some time now, as the versatile forward is projected to fall in the top-10 of the draft. If he decides to sign with an agent, he automatically forgoes his final two years of collegiate eligibility. CBS Sports’s Jeff Goodman was the first to report his decision.
“I think he is ready as much mentally, emotionally, as it relates to basketball,” Thompson said. “I thought he went about the process in an educated manner. He didn’t make a rushed decision one way or the other. He had two good choices. It is a process. He is prepared.”
Porter’s stock escalated rapidly this past season, since he started off as a probable lottery pick and is now firmly entrenched near the top five selections this June. He raised his play over the course of the year and has been deemed an ideal NBA small forward for his versatility.
“A lot of people come into this, young players, with the attitude that they will leave as soon as possible,” Thompson said. “They walk in the door thinking about walking out the door. That has never been the case with him.”
“What has been consistent with him and what he will take with him to the NBA, and once those days are over, is his caring, his work ethic, his commitment to what he is a part of,” Thompson said. “He is completely committed to this institution, to our program, to our team.”
During this past season, the Missouri native averaged 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. His hallmark 33-point showcase against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome catapulted him into national player of the year consideration.
Porter Jr. announced his decision the day before the NCAA Early Entry “Withdrawal” Deadline. The decision certainly was not an easy one for him.
“The toughest part was knowing that you are going to leave a great place like this,” Porter Jr. said. “I love this place. It’s tough. I had to think about it every night.”
Georgetown’s second-round loss to Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA Tournament also clearly affected Porter Jr.’s decision.
“It took a long time [to get over that loss],” Porter Jr said. “I didn’t want to rush anything. I wanted to make sure it was the right decision.”
The move takes away Thompson’s best player from next year’s team. The Hoyas will instead rely on rising seniors Nate Lubick and Markel Starks. If UCLA transfer Josh Smith can keep his weight under control, he could be the Hoyas’ biggest surprise next season. Additionally, if Greg Whittington is able to regain his eligibility, he can fill a portion of the scoring void created by Porter’s departure.
Photo: Miles Gavin Meng/Georgetown Voice