KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee forward Tyler Smith has
declared for the 2009 NBA draft but will not hire an agent.
Smith can work out and be evaluated by NBA teams in the weeks
before the June 25 draft, but could withdraw his name before June
15 and return to school.
"Playing in the NBA has been a goal of mine for as long as I
can remember, and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to
come to Tennessee and grow as a basketball player and as a man,"
Smith said in a statement Wednesday. "Two seasons with coach
(Bruce) Pearl and his staff have helped me move closer to my goal
of playing professional basketball at the highest level."
Smith, who played at Iowa as a freshman, has averaged 15.4
points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in his two seasons at
Tennessee and hasn't missed a game.
He was named to The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference
team both seasons while helping to lead the Volunteers to
back-to-back regular-season SEC titles.
During the 2008-09 season, Smith led the team with an average
17.4 points and 3.4 assists per game. He also grabbed an average
5.8 rebounds per game and led the team with 76 percent free-throw
"Tyler has earned this opportunity to test the waters," Pearl
said. "This is absolutely the right thing to do. Tyler did not
choose to work out last season because you can only take advantage
of this opportunity one time. He did not feel he was close enough
to being a first-rounder a year ago.
"This gives him a chance to really gauge where his game rates
in the opinions of NBA personnel."