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Armon Bassett

Star guard stays in NBA Draft, confirms his OU career is over

Armon Bassett will forego his senior season and remain in the NBA Draft, according to a statement the team released today.

The junior guard declared for the draft last month but elected not to hire an agent. Bassett had until Saturday to decide to either return to school or remain in the draft.

“After speaking with Armon and his family, we all agreed at this point it was in Armon’s best interest to stay in the NBA Draft,” Ohio head coach John Groce said in the statement.  “We are very thankful for all Armon has contributed to the Ohio men’s basketball program and we look forward to following his career from this point forward.” 

In his only season as a Bobcat, Bassett helped Ohio reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. He led the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game, but most of his accolades came during the team’s postseason run.

The Terre Haute, Ind., native averaged 29 points per game during the Mid-American Conference Tournament, which Ohio won. He then scored 32 points in Ohio’s 97-83 victory against Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I feel like after the run we had and the exposure we received, I’m ready to take this next step in my professional career,” Bassett said in the team’s statement.  “After speaking with Coach Groce and my family, this is the best thing for me.  I’ve enjoyed representing Ohio and I will always have great memories of what we were able to accomplish.”

The announcement came two days after the team suspended Bassett from all team-related activities after he pleaded not guilty to assaulting John Willis, a doorman at Courtside Pizza and Sports Bar, last Saturday night.

Willis appeared to have suffered a broken nose, according to a report from the Athens Police Department. Judge William Grim ordered Bassett to stay away from both Willis and Courtside Pizza.

Speculation arose last month that Bassett planned to play professional basketball when posts on his personal Facebook page suggested he planned to leave Athens.

Bassett did not register for Spring Quarter classes at the university until the end of the quarter’s first week of classes.

Ohio Athletics declined to comment throughout the process until releasing last month’s initial statement that Bassett had entered the draft.

Bassett’s departure will open another scholarship for the team. The Bobcats already had one open scholarship for next year, which opened when redshirt junior Asown Sayles elected to graduate this spring instead of returning for another year.

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