June 12, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona men's basketball player Jason Gardner has withdrawn his name from consideration for the 2001 NBA Draft. Gardner, who did not sign with an agent, had kept his options open regarding his basketball future.
Gardner, a 5-foot-10, 181-pound guard from Indianapolis, averaged 10.9 points and a team-leading 4.1 assists per game, while shooting 38.1 percent from the floor in 36 games this season. An Associated Press honorable mention All-America pick, Gardner led the team in three-point field goals (76), ranked second in steals (59) and shot 80.9 percent from the free throw line. He originally declared for the NBA Draft on April 11.
"I have decided to remove my name from consideration (for the draft)," said Gardner. "It is still a dream of mine to play in the NBA. I enjoyed the pre-draft experience and learned a great deal from it. I'm looking forward to the 2001-02 season with a great group of teammates."
A 2000 national Freshman of the Year, Gardner averaged 12.5 points as a sophomore in Arizona's six NCAA Tournament games. He was named to the NCAA all-Midwest Regional team after totaling 28 points, six rebounds and six assists in wins over Mississippi and Illinois. He scored in double figures 20 times last season and notched his second career double-double (11 points/10 assists) vs. Oregon on March 3. Gardner's assist:turnover ratio of 2.33 this season was 0.66 higher than his freshman campaign.
Gardner immediately becomes the leader of a very young Wildcat squad in 2001-02. The most experienced UA returnee, Gardner has averages of 11.7 points and 4.4 assists in 70 career games. He's collected 214 rebounds and 114 steals, while making 69 career starts. He is one of six returning lettermen from a squad that went 28-8 and advanced to the 2001 national championship game. Arizona also welcomes five newcomers in a recruiting class that has been judged to be one of the top five in the nation.