Tobias Harris to remain in NBA draft

Tobias Harris to remain in NBA draft

May 6th, 2011 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College

Tennessee's Tobias Harris (12) dunks the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Memphis Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Tennessee's Tobias Harris (12) dunks the ball during...

KNOXVILLE - Tennessee forward Tobias Harris announced late Friday afternoon that he will remain in the NBA draft after playing just one season with the Volunteers.

Harris' decision to keep his name in the draft wasn't surprising, as most projections have the 6-foot-8 New York native going in the first 20 to 25 picks of the draft. Harris went through individual workout sessions with UT's new staff and new coach Cuonzo Martin while also traveling to Houston on the weekends to work out with John Lucas.

"Want to thank all that supported me during my time at UT," Harris wrote on his Twitter account. "Its truly been a blessing, the Lord has guided me in the greatest of ways. VFL (Vol for Life)!!"

Harris averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in his one season in Knoxville and finished with a flourish. He averaged 20.5 points per game in UT's final six games.

"First of all, Tobias is a wonderful young man," Martin said in a statement released by UT. "He had a great freshman season, but more importantly he also conducts himself in all the right ways off the court. There's no doubt he'll be successful.

"I wish him well. I absolutely loved working with him, over the past several weeks. He'll always be a Tennessee Volunteer, and just like every other former player, we're always here for him. He's part of the family."

ESPN's Chad Ford had Harris going to Denver with the 22nd pick in a mock draft released on Thursday after Harris had climbed into Ford's top 20 overall prospects. Draft Express moved Harris up to the 16th pick to Philadelphia, and has Harris going to Charlotte at No. 19.

Vols guard Scotty Hopson has until Sunday's midnight deadline to to make his final choice to stay in the draft or return to school.

More details online and in Saturday's Times Free Press. Click here to follow Vols beat writer Patrick Brown on Twitter.