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UB guard Jayvon Graves to enter name in NBA Draft

Jayvon Graves isn’t closing the door on his time with the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team.

But Graves has seriously considered his future in basketball. On Friday, less than two weeks after the season ended for the Bulls, Graves announced that he has entered his name into consideration for the NBA Draft in June.

“I’m doing this to get good feedback, and if there’s an opportunity to go to the NBA, I will,” Graves told the News on Friday. “But if I get feedback on the things I need to work on and to get better, I’ll be back at Buffalo and I’ll work on improving myself, going about it and figuring out the things I need to do. If a certain team jumps on this and believes in me, then I’ll make that decision.”

Graves has a year of eligibility remaining at UB, and said he does not plan to hire an agent so that he can maintain his college eligibility. He also regards this as a preparation process so that if he does return to UB, he knows what steps he can take to pursue a future professional basketball career.

"Jayvon and I have spoken a lot about his future and I fully support his decision," UB coach Jim Whitesell said in a release. "He is taking advantage of the rules that will allow him to test his game at the highest level. It is my hope that this process will be beneficial for Jayvon as he continues to grow as a person and a basketball player."

Graves is currently at his home in Ohio, and said he submitted a request for feedback from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which gives underclassmen feedback on their potential draft status. Graves said he anticipates he will receive that feedback inside the next two weeks.

“Typically, I wouldn’t have posted anything about this until after college basketball season ended,” Graves said. “But I wanted to get a head start in this process, since there’s no more college season. Right now, I can focus on workouts.”

College basketball players are allowed to enter the NBA Draft each year during their college career without giving up their future college eligibility, as long as they withdraw their name from draft consideration 10 days after the NBA combine and notify their school of their intent to return.

The deadline for college players to declare early entry into the NBA Draft is scheduled for April 26. The NBA draft combine is scheduled for May 19 to May 24 in Chicago, and the NBA Draft is scheduled for June 25.

NBA teams select 60 players in the two-round NBA Draft. As of Friday afternoon, Graves was not projected in mock drafts on NBADraft.net, ESPN or Sports Illustrated.

Graves was a first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection this season, who led the Bulls in scoring (17.1 points per game), averaged 5.4 rebounds per game and was fifth in the MAC in scoring. He made 204 field goals this season, the third-most in a single season for the Bulls.

The junior guard from Malvern, Ohio, also reached the 1,000-point plateau this season; Graves is 18th on UB’s all-time scoring list with 1,080 points.

“I think now was the time,” Graves said. “I think I had a pretty impressive year, and I think now is the time.”

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