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Auburn Athletics photo by Shanna Lockwood / Tennessee freshman guard Jaden Springer, who led the Volunteers in scoring this season with 12.7 points per game, announced Monday that he was declaring for the NBA draft.

Tennessee freshman guard Jaden Springer announced Monday afternoon that he has signed with an agent and will enter the NBA draft.

Now the Volunteers await word from fellow freshman guard Keon Johnson.

Springer, a 6-foot-4, 204-pounder from Charlotte, led Tennessee in scoring this season, averaging 12.5 points per game and 12.7 points in Southeastern Conference contests. The former five-star signee tallied his highest output during an 89-81 win over Georgia on Feb. 10, amassing 30 points on 9-of-11 shooting.

"Playing in the NBA has always been my dream," Springer posted on Twitter. "To Vol Nation, your love and support will always hold a special place in my heart. Although the season didn't end the way we all wanted it to, I'm still grateful for everything we accomplished.

"It was truly an honor to represent the Volunteers."

Springer also led the Vols in 3-point accuracy, making 20 of 46 attempts for a 43.5% clip.

NBADraft.net on Monday projected Springer going 19th overall to the Atlanta Hawks, while a recent mock draft by 247Sports.com had the Oklahoma City Thunder selecting him ninth. Both outlets had Johnson getting picked eighth.

Springer and Johnson, who averaged 11.3 points per game to rank second on the Vols, were both named to the All-SEC freshman team.

The departure of Springer leaves Tennessee without three underclassmen from this season's 18-9 team that lost to Oregon State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Sophomore guard Davonte Gaines and sophomore forward Drew Pember entered the NCAA transfer portal last week.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

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