April 14, 2010

Butler's Gordon Hayward To Enter NBA Draft

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler sophomore Gordon Hayward, who helped lead the Bulldogs to the 2010 NCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship game, will enter the 2010 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft.  He has not hired an agent, which gives him the option of retaining his eligibility.

“Gordon informed me of his intentions to declare for this year’s draft, and we’ll support him as we gather additional information,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens.

Hayward was Butler’s leading scorer (15.5) and rebounder (8.2) this past season.  He led (or shared the lead) in scoring in four of Butler’s six NCAA Tournament games, including victories over top-seeded Syracuse and second-seeded Kansas State.  The 6-9 wing player had a team-high 19 points in Butler’s national semifinals victory over Michigan State, and he shared the team scoring lead with 12 points against Duke in the national finals.  He set a Butler NCAA Tournament record with 95 points in the six tournament games.

“I have decided to declare for this June’s NBA draft.  At the present time, I have not signed with an agent,” said Hayward.  “I’m looking forward to further exploring my options in the NBA, while finishing this semester strongly in the classroom.”

Hayward was named 2009-10 Horizon League Player of the Year, and he was a first team All-Horizon League for the second straight year.  He was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA West Regional, and he was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Final Four.  The second-year Butler player earned third team Academic All-America recognition.

Butler’s run to the Final Four capped a season that saw the Bulldogs compile a 33-5 overall record and a perfect 18-0 mark in the Horizon League.  The 33 wins were a school- and league-record.  The Bulldogs, who captured Horizon League regular season and tournament championships, compiled a 25-game winning streak, the nation’s longest, and were unbeaten in the months of January, February and March.  Butler was ranked in the ESPN/USA Today national poll for 19 consecutive weeks, finishing as the nation’s No. 2-ranked squad.

Underclassmen who have declared for the draft, but have not hired agents, have until May 8 to withdraw their names from consideration and retain their eligibility.

(Photos by John Fetcho)