Men’s basketball: Gibbs to test his NBA draft prospects

By Alex Oltmanns

 Pitt junior Ashton Gibbs has declared for the NBA draft without hiring an agent, Panthers… Pitt junior Ashton Gibbs declared for the NBA draft without hiring an agent, the Panthers starting point guard confirmed to The Pitt News Tuesday.

The first-team All-Big East player is going to work out with teams before April 24, the deadline for filing the official paperwork with the league to keep his name in the NBA draft for good.

If he officially declares, Gibbs will be the first Pitt basketball player to leave school early since DeJuan Blair did so as a sophomore in 2009. Before him, Chris Taft also left as a sophomore in 2005.

The next two weeks will allow Gibbs to test the NBA Draft waters and see where he might fall in the draft, much as former Panther Sam Young did in 2008 before returning to school for his senior season.

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Gibbs has until May 8 to remove himself from the draft, making him eligible to play for Pitt next season. If he hires an agent, he will lock himself into the draft and forefit his eligibility to return to Pitt.

The New Jersey native, who averaged 16.8 points per game this season, and other underclassmen have more reason to consider the NBA Draft this year, as teams can now pay for players’ travel expenses.

Gibbs’ projected draft stock won’t really be known until he works out with NBA teams, but NBADraft.net, a major draft website, projects that former Pitt teammate Brad Wanamaker, a senior this year, will be the No. 59 player to be taken in the June 23 draft. Sixty-two players get taken into the draft each year.

Former teammate Gilbert Brown has also popped up on some mock draft sites as a potential second-round pick.