April 16, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona men's basketball player Nic Wise has decided to make himself eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft. Wise is leaving open the possibility of returning to the Wildcats for his senior season in 2009-10.
Wise, a 5-foot-10, 177-pound, junior guard from Houston, Texas, averaged 15.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in 35 appearances this year. He shot 45.2 percent (177-of-392) from the field, including 41.5 percent (66-of-159) from behind the arc, to go with 84.8 percent (128-of-151) from the free throw line. Wise ranked among the Pac-10 leaders in scoring, assists, steals (1.5 spg), free throw percentage, three-point field goals made (1.9 per game), three-point field goal percentage, assist:turnover ratio (1.6:1) and minutes played (36.4). Wise finished in double figures 27 times this year, including nine 20-point games.
Wise was a second-team all-Pac-10 selection this season and was the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Feb.16.
He posted season bests in nearly every statistical category as a junior, including field goals, field goal attempts, field goal percentage, free throws, free throw attempts, free throw percentage, rebounds (88), rebound average, assists (160), points scored (548) and scoring average. His 1,273 minutes played in 2008-09 are the third-most in school history for a single season.
"It's always been my dream to play in the NBA," said Wise, "and I feel like I need to take the next step and get some feedback on my game. This will only help me become a better basketball player."
In three seasons at Arizona, Wise averaged 10.0 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 84 career appearances (46 starts). He connected on 43.6 percent of his field goal attempts (268-of-614) in that span, including 41.4 percent (110-of-266) from three-point range. Over the last two seasons, Wise has averaged 12.8 points and 4.5 assists, while logging an average of 33.3 minutes per game. In that span, he's connected on 45 percent of his field goal attempts.
Wise will complete his coursework through the spring semester. He has until June 15 to withdraw his name from the draft eligible list and, by not signing with an agent and maintaining his coursework, he could return to college without losing eligibility.
He is one of 13 Wildcats to declare early for the NBA Draft since 1984: Brian Williams (1991), Mike Bibby (1998), Gilbert Arenas (2001), Jason Gardner (2001), Richard Jefferson (2001), Michael Wright (2001), Andre Iguodala (2004), Chris Rodgers (2005), Mustafa Shakur (2006), Marcus Williams (2007), Jerryd Bayless (2008), Chase Budinger (2008 and 2009) and Jordan Hill (2009). Of that list, only Gardner, Rodgers and Shakur returned to school and completed their eligibility.
The 2009 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 25, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.