Junior guard could return to program next season
TUCSON, Ariz. ?- University of Arizona men’s basketball player Mustafa Shakur has decided to make himself eligible for the 2006 NBA Draft. Shakur is leaving open the possibility of returning to the Wildcats for his senior season.
Shakur, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior guard from Philadelphia, Pa., averaged 11.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, while shooting 42.3 percent from the floor in 33 appearances (33 starts) in 2005-06. Shakur led the team with a 1.75 assist:turnover ratio and 80.6 free throw percentage, ranked third on the club in three-point field goals (24) and steals (48).
“I think this is a good opportunity to further showcase my skills,” said Shakur. “I’m keeping my options open, but I’m looking forward to showing people exactly the type of player that I am.”
In three seasons at Arizona, Shakur averaged 9.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 100 career games (98 starts). He’s a 45.0 percent shooter for his career, including 36.6 percent from three-point range.
“Obviously, we’re hoping he’s going to return,” said Arizona head coach Lute Olson. “He would be one of our captains next year and he has done a great job of providing leadership in the weight room and on the floor already this off season. I’m happy that he is completing his coursework and not hiring an agent. That way he will be able to come back if he decides that it’s the best thing for him.”
Shakur has until June 21 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.
Shakur joins a list of eight other Wildcats to declare early for the NBA Draft during the Lute Olson era: Brian Williams (1991), Mike Bibby (1998), Gilbert Arenas (2001), Jason Gardner (2001), Richard Jefferson (2001), Michael Wright (2001), Andre Iguodala (2004) and Chris Rodgers (2005). Of that list, only Gardner and Rodgers returned to school and completed their eligibility.
The 2006 NBA Draft is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.