Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. will enter NBA draft
For the second time in four days, Michigan coach John Beilein bid one of his star players adieu. After three seasons of helping the Wolverines reach the NCAA Tournament, Tim Hardaway Jr. announced Wednesday he was skipping his final season and would pursue his NBA dream. "Moving forward, I'm going to forgo my senior year and enter myself in the 2013 NBA draft," Hardaway said. "It's a hard decision but I tried to make the decision that was best for me. With the help of my coaching staff, my family and my teammates, I tried to get as much input as I can." Three years ago, Hardaway was something of an enigma, coming in as one of Beilein's first top recruits. Hardaway was known more for his namesake famous father, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, than for his career at Miami's Palmetto High. But after three successful seasons at Michigan, which included a Big Ten title and a trip to the national championship game, Hardaway is headed to the pros. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 14.5 points and 4.7 rebounds this season, shooting 44 percent overall, 37 percent on 3-pointers. "I'm really happy for Tim today because Tim has really wrestled with this decision for a while," Beilein said. "He's gained a lot of information and he's pretty well-connected to the NBA and understands the competitive level of the NBA and how hard you have to work." With Hardaway, the Wolverines went 75-32 in three seasons. With Michigan's success in the Tournament this season, having multiple players leave early is part of the landscape for Beilein. "They're both in great academic standing, and this is the new age that we're going to be dealing with very often," Beilein said of Hardaway and sophomore guard Trey Burke, who announced his decision to enter the draft last weekend. "This is where hockey and baseball have farm systems that are outside the colleges. Football and basketball is a farm system for the pros. Sometimes, that's the way it's going to work." Where Hardaway might be drafted — and whether he's ready — is a big question. "I feel he's ready if he feels he's ready," Beilein said. "The mistake we never want is a kid coming back here wishing he was playing somewhere else. "With everything that Michigan gives to young men, the NBA is very attractive."
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