So, there is no turning back now for Lamb, who will likely hire an agent soon and start the process of interviewing and working out for teams as soon as that is allowed. Lamb came close to entering the draft last season, after his freshman season concluded with UConn winning the national championship. But after consulting with his family, he decided to return for his sophomore season with the hope of improving his position in the draft.
Most mock drafts indicate Lamb will be selected any where from No. 6 to No. 12.
“With Jeremy, all the [NBA] guys I’ve talked to, a lot of them think he would go No. 5 or No. 6,” Calhoun said last week. “If a guy is going to go No. 5 or No. 6, I have a tough time telling him he can’t go.”
Lamb, 19, became just the sixth sophomore in UConn history to reach 1,000 career points. His 1,060 points rank him No. 42 on UConn’s all-time scoring list. He is only the 11th player in UConn history to score as many as 600 points (603) in one season.
“It’s never easy to lose a great player from your program, but Jeremy has a unique opportunity that he needs to take advantage of,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. “He’s been a great kid to coach for the past two years … his teams have won 52 games, been to two NCAA Tournaments, and won a national championship. I look forward to him developing into a terrific player in the NBA and secondly, as he’s promised me, to come back and finish his degree.”
The 6-5 guard from Norcross, Ga., started every game and led the team in scoring this past season at 17.7 points per game. He also averaged 4.9 rebounds and was selected to the All-Big East First Team. He scored in double figures in 31 games, led the Huskies in scoring 17 times, scored 30 or more points in two games and 20 or more 10 times.
During the summer following his freshman year, Lamb competed with Team USA at the U19 FIBA World Championships, leading the team with a 16.2 scoring average and 18 steals in nine games.
“I have learned a lot, both on and off the basketball court as well as in the classroom, and I feel as if I’m ready to take the next step in my basketball career,” Lamb said. “I intend to successfully complete the current semester academically as I get prepared for the draft.”
Lamb becomes the 14th UConn player under Calhoun to leave school early to enter the NBA Draft. All but one of the previous 13 were drafted in the first round.
“First, I want to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play this great game,” Lamb said. “I want to thank Coach Calhoun for giving me the opportunity to play at UConn and I want to thank the entire coaching staff and all my teammates for helping me improve enough to hopefully be successful at the next level.
It is not known when Drummond will reach his decision. If he leaves for the NBA he would become the first UConn player to turn pro after one season. Drummond is highly regarded by scouts because of his NBA sized body and potential.
Mock drafts have Drummond being selected from the No. 2 to No. 5 spots.