Tech’s Derrick Favors to enter NBA draft – updated

Projected as one of the top five picks in the NBA draft, Georgia Tech’s 6-10 freshman Derrick Favors made it official Friday. He announced he will enter the NBA Draft, fulfilling the one-and-done prophecy many predicted.

“I just felt like it was the right decision for me to make,” Favors said Friday. “They said I was top 5, so I made that decision. I said ‘Why not?’”

Favors is one of the most highly-touted prospects Georgia Tech has ever had, coming in from South Atlanta as a Parade Magazine and USA Today high school player of the year.

He’ll leave after winning ACC rookie of the year and helping get the Yellow Jackets back to the NCAA tournament after a two-year drought.

He becomes the fifth Tech player to leave after just one season, along with Stephon Marbury, Chris Bosh, Thaddeus Young and Javaris Crittenton.

Favors is projected to go as high as third in the draft by NBAdraft.net behind Kentucky’s John Wall and Ohio State’s Evan Turner and fourth by draftexpress.com.

“In Derrick’s case, I understood,” said Tech coach Paul Hewitt, who had been told by his NBA contacts throughout the season that Favors would likely go in the top five.

Hewitt passed that projection on to Favors after the season was over, and it’s why he wasn’t surprised when he got Favors’ text message Friday morning that he was gone.

“I think mentally and emotionally he’s ready to make that type of jump,” Hewitt said. “I think he knows physically he’s got some things he’s got to work on. But the one thing about Derrick you don’t have to worry about is the off-the-court stuff…He’s as low maintenance as they come. You don’t have to worry about him being distracted.”

The soft-spoken Favors actually spent his spring break on Tech’s campus. He told Tech coaches it’s because he liked the peace and quiet.

That might be hard to come by as he takes the next step into the NBA. But he feels he’s ready.

When asked what challenges he’ll face, Favors said: “Probably the same thing as in college, getting adjusted to the game and the lifestyle.”

Favors, who doesn’t turn 19 until July, said an aunt might live with him wherever he goes. His mother will stay in Atlanta, but Favors hopes in a different house.

“It’s important for me to get her out of the neighborhood she’s living in and put her in a better house and take care of her,” he said.

Favors, who plans to finish out the semester at Tech, has not yet hired an agent. He said Friday he’s leaving the door open to return to school. But he would have only until May 8 to withdraw from the draft. It’s not something Georgia Tech is counting on.

In the last week, the Yellow Jackets have lost both junior forward Gani Lawal and now Favors to the NBA draft. Hewitt said he’d like to bring in at least one more frontcourt player to join 6-11 Daniel Miller and 6-8 Kammeon Holsey, who both redshirted this season. Spring signing period starts Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Hewitt said he’s used two practices this week and will use his last two next week to being installing a motion-style offense.

The Yellow Jackets need a change after losing their top two scorers and rebounders in Lawal and Favors. Favors averaged 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds while becoming Tech’s 11th ACC rookie of the year.

He struggled early with conditioning and foul trouble but took his game to a new level at Maryland on Feb. 20 when he had 21 points and 18 rebounds.

From that game on, Favors averaged 15.9 points and 9.1 rebounds through a run to the ACC tournament finals and an eventual loss to Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

“It was a good experience,” Favors said of his year at Tech. “I got to meet a lot of people, got to experience college life and playing in the ACC and playing in the tournament, playing for an ACC championship.”

232 comments Add your comment

JB

April 9th, 2010
1:18 pm

Jovan

April 9th, 2010
1:20 pm

“He was a big part of our success.” If you call 7-9 in the ACC a success. Hard to believe the number of ACC coaches who were fired or moved on while Mr. Lifetime Contract gets to stay.

wesleywhatwhat

April 9th, 2010
1:21 pm

not a surprise. drad, how are all of the one-and-dones helping GT?

GT00

April 9th, 2010
1:22 pm

nothing new here. as predicted. we don’t need the mayan calender to forcast this one. 3 bigs are gone now. sheehan is the big now. watch out ACC. don’t stand in our way of a 0-16 season. woohoo.

wesleywhatwhat

April 9th, 2010
1:22 pm

almost forgot – good luck to favors in the NBA and in his future endeavors.

wow

April 9th, 2010
1:23 pm

favors was 0 -1 against the DAWGS..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

GTpak

April 9th, 2010
1:27 pm

Good luck Derrick. Sorry to see you leave.

Paul, how about no more one and dones. I believe your best team had players that stayed much longer and learned how to play together. Also, quit substituting every minute of the game, it disrupts team play and does not allow players to get used to working togethr.

Trey

April 9th, 2010
1:28 pm

My only comment as a Dawg fan is that it’s great the Paul is staying!!!!

collegeballfan

April 9th, 2010
1:30 pm

The kid getting his release from Clemson, Marcus Thornton, can come in and replace him for next season. Maade to order starter.

Crazy Robert

April 9th, 2010
1:31 pm

collegeballfan

April 9th, 2010
1:33 pm

Good, the kid getting his release from Clemson, Marcus Thornton, can come in and replace Favors as a starter. Made to order ACC rookie of the year.

WHAT???

April 9th, 2010
1:33 pm

More shocking news – the sun is out. Also, this just in, it will rise again tomorrow, and possibly the next day. If you didn’t see this coming, well then you are an idiot.

ormewood

April 9th, 2010
1:36 pm

it promises to be a battle royale for the ACC cellar between the Jackets, Wake, and UVA. I’d give the early edge to the Deacons.

Techman78

April 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

Good luck Derrick, I cant blame you for leaving, I would leave too if had an idiot coaching me that wouldnt allow you to play to your strengths. Best of luck in the NBA. On a side note Wake Forest fired a coach that had taken them to the previous 2 NCAA tournaments and was 30 games over .500 in 3 seasons. Whats wrong with this picture? D-Rad you taking any notes? Ready for football, go jackets!

GT Bball Fan

April 9th, 2010
1:40 pm

Good luck, continue the tradition of Georgia Tech players in the NBA!

RambleOn84

April 9th, 2010
1:40 pm

Favors is leaving for the NBA? I can’t believe it!!! In other news, the sky is blue, Ricky Martin is gay, and Paul Hewitt’s contract is the only reason he’s still at Tech.

Joe

April 9th, 2010
1:41 pm

What’s most frustrating is we can beat the national champs (Duke) and lose to Miami, FSU, Dayton, UGA in the same season

JUSTAFAN

April 9th, 2010
1:42 pm

Cmon,what did you expect him(Derrick) to do,stick around and let the refs make tic-tac calls against him another year or so in college.The calls made against him during the Ohio St.game were a perfect example. They (refs)took the one thing that could slow down Favors and Tech…aggressive inside play.Then to top it off, in the Ohio St.game, the refs allowed both teams to get after it and Tennessee prevailed with the same type play that Tech attempted.Shhhhhhhut,might as well get paid if you’re gonna get your game taken away.
Question:What’s the difference in gettin three cheap fouls called on you in college as opposed to the NBA? Answer: $3.5 MILLION

bigeasy830

April 9th, 2010
1:43 pm

I am a UGA fan, but I cheer for Tech if they are not playing my dogs. But, I do not want any one and done players at UGA. Tech starts over from scratch next year. I am so happy how the NCAA tournament is shaping up year after year. The experienced teams beats the talented teams with the freshman and sophomore superstars. Duke and Butler were lead by Jrs. and Srs. Many experts got it wrong when they wanted the NBA to impose that rule that the players had to play one year in college. The NCAA wanted it also but is being hurt by it. If a kid srews up his future by going to the pros out of highscholl then it is his bad decision to make so let him make it. The college coaches should steer away from the one and done players, Carmelo Anthony winning the title for the Orangemen is an exception not the norm and Rose at Memphis …well Memphis had to forfeit all those games. Those one and done players will only get their coaches fired. To build a great program you must have consistency. Good luck to Favors but thank God he did not chose to go to UGA.

wolfman

April 9th, 2010
1:46 pm

He already has one of the main talents of most NBA players — he can’t make free throws.

Matt Geiger

April 9th, 2010
1:46 pm

While we’re at it, I’d like to announce my return to the Salem Polecats.

DBH

April 9th, 2010
1:47 pm

Some of you Dawg fans sure are puffed up for a team that didn’t even make the NCAA tournament.

MorningJacket

April 9th, 2010
1:47 pm

Doug, would have been informative to have a paragraph or two explaining Tech’s inside options for next year. Who is there besides Sheehan? Who are the redshirts again? What are the chances for Thornton, etc.? Any other recruiting going on? Is it really as bleak as it seems at first blush?

wiley

April 9th, 2010
1:50 pm

Well said bigeasy…..a lot of the big name schools are suffering massive talent exoduses every year as a result of this rule. Look at Texas, Wake, Kentucky, and everyone else…with the exception of Duke. I like the system in place for college baseball….go straight out or play at least three years….it works very well. This was the weakest at large field in history for a reason.

Joe

April 9th, 2010
1:50 pm

Great point, Jovan. Gaudio out after only three (semi-impressive) years, and yet CPH soldiers on…

MorningJacket

April 9th, 2010
1:51 pm

Sorry, I meant Carroll…not Doug.

Derrick Favors

April 9th, 2010
1:51 pm

DBH, 73-66! Chooo Chooo my good man. Good luck to Mr. Favors, seems like a good man and will be a great pro and represnetative of GTech for years to come.

Ga Peach

April 9th, 2010
1:54 pm

CONGRATS!!! Dfavors. This is no surprise. I am very proud of you, run while you have a chance!!!! GOODLUCK!!!!

Donony

April 9th, 2010
1:56 pm

Come on Fav, hate to see you leave but I knew it was too good to be true. Take care of your family kid.

wiley

April 9th, 2010
1:56 pm

Morning Jacket don’t get your hopes up…..we missed out on alot of good prospects already. I wonder if Hewitt really though favors might stay? I wouldn’t put it past him.

CanHewitt

April 9th, 2010
1:58 pm

Success my ass! Hewitt is a talent killer. And what’s with this one and doner talk? So Favors is leaving. Everyone knew he’d leave after one year even before he came to Tech. It’s his job to replace him by recruiting a great player.

Tron5000

April 9th, 2010
1:59 pm

Duh. I interviewed the kid his senior season at South Atlanta. Both he and his coach said he’d be at Tech 1 year. His coach also told me he would’ve gone straight to the NBA had he been allowed to. Hope no one really spent time worrying about whether or not Favors was leaving. That was a done deal before he signed with Tech.

Keith

April 9th, 2010
2:00 pm

It’s amazing that in basketball, and football, that 99% of black athletes leave early. You never see them stay all 4 years. It’s all about the money! However you see many more white athletes stay all 4 years and get their degree.

Mr. C

April 9th, 2010
2:03 pm

He is going to stink up the NBA and be out of the league in five years. A Kwame Brown Jr.!

He did nothing at GT!!

DBH

April 9th, 2010
2:06 pm

@CanHewitt: But that’s just it. Hewitt can only recruit the player. It’s still up to the player to make the decision. Hewitt IS recruiting good players, but it’s not his fault if the players he’s recruiting are so good that they stay at Tech only a year or two. Sure, I’d like to have them all stay for the full four years, but in today’s college game that’s not realistic. Just look at Kentucky. Do you blame Calipari for FIVE players bolting for the NBA?

Richard

April 9th, 2010
2:08 pm

I was more suprised that the Titanic sank in the movie than Favors’ decision.

Mr. C

April 9th, 2010
2:08 pm

Keith you are right! But both of these sports are dominated by black athletes! Why stay when you can make millions! White athletes help the graduation rates. If it wasn’t for that about 50% of the teams would be all black athletes. This may sound bad but it is true. Bob Huggins got ran out of town because of his rates. He now has a few white athletes on his WV squad!

Keith

April 9th, 2010
2:08 pm

Shoot, I’m late for my hate rally. Gotta suit up in my white robe and hood and get going now! Later!

Surely You Jest

April 9th, 2010
2:10 pm

He’s not ready…

BamaFan

April 9th, 2010
2:10 pm

I think one and done has to be the DUMBEST thing ever. I can understand if you are going to college just for the sport, but these kids need to learn the skill. I think the media hypes them up also, because half way through the season, they start predicting who is going to get drafted first. The NCAA needs to put a lock on the NBA like they did with the NFL. All of the spark is gone because you can’t depend on a team year to year. Why cant they all do what Florida did when they all promised to come back and when one for Donovan?

DBH

April 9th, 2010
2:12 pm

I agree with Surely that Favors isn’t yet ready for the NBA, but I also feel the same about John Wall.

BravesFan79

April 9th, 2010
2:14 pm

I think GT will be good again next year, but clearly we blew our great chance at going to a Final 4 this year… by not adding a top assistant coach last summer. (some old ex head college coach like a Bob Knight or a Lefty Drisel) Thanks Hewitt for allowing your pride to get in the way of getting some offensive genius on the bench.
Next year we will have Daniel Miller, and Holmsley, and will be around the middle of the pack in the ACC due to the strength of us having Oliver/Rice/Shumpert with another year of experience under them.

bigeasy830

April 9th, 2010
2:15 pm

Keith, I know I am probably making a mistake by replying to you and this is the only reply you will get from me. 99 percent of black athletes do not leave early, most like the white athletes are not good enough to make the pros. 99 percent of the most talented players leave irregardless of color. Favors would have been a top 10 drafted player last year out of highschool, so now that he is eligeble he would be a fool to throw away a chance at millions. I know many people with a degree that is unemployed and others with a degree working along side people with no degree making about the same wage. So, lets keep it real Keith, you are right it is all about the money and it always will be. What about Matt Stafford leaving early for the money and Sam Bradford almost screwing up his chance by staying another season with the Sooners and getting hurt. Remember James Forest staying at Tech and watching his stock in the draft plummet the next season or that safety for Tech about 10 years back that did the same thing he would have been a top 5 pick his junior year and he was not even drafted the next year. But like I said earlier Keith I will probably regret replying to you.And also what about baseball when many of the white athlete do not even go to college and sign the big contract and wait to be called up to o the Majors, like Jeff Francour and Brian McCann along with the black players like Heyward. So what’s up with that KEITH.

Hal

April 9th, 2010
2:16 pm

Well I hope he looks at some of the replays of the games he played in. He’s not ready for the NBA. He didn’t even have a decent season. One and done. I feel sorry for CPH. He deserves better.

pws

April 9th, 2010
2:18 pm

To DBH: PH’s talent is recruiting players, not coaching them. What we need at GT is a coach who can take the medium level players and make a championship team out of them, the way Coach Crybaby does at Duke. Heck, PH doesn’t even get the respect of the refs, they laugh at him when he tries to complain. I think DRad will have a hard time selling season tickets this year…….but I think that’s what it will take to get him to make a change. At least if he had bitten the bullet, and paid the payout clause, he would be making up some of the deficiet by selling tickets.

BigTimeTechFan

April 9th, 2010
2:18 pm

Oh yea, Shumpert will be ACC player of the year next year…if he stays. He’s good defense and with Lewal anf Favors gone Hewitt will give him the green light on offense.

Tech has:
Daniel Miller 6′11″ and Holsey 6′8″ next year in addition to Sheehan 7′. Not sure how good they all are but they were 4 star and 3 star recuits.

Surely You Jest

April 9th, 2010
2:18 pm

Keith – I’m Black and you’re right but you left out the fact that many of those black athletes go back to work on their degrees. Doesn’t matter either way. The bigger issue here is what kind of degrees are they getting regardless of race or ethnicity? Degrees that will help society and mankind move forward (science/technology/engineering/medicine/education) or degrees that will ensure that we continue to plummet deeper into these dark ages (marketing/advertising/public relations/law/criminal justice)?

ignition

April 9th, 2010
2:21 pm

I wonder if Tech fans realize all the negative post actually hurts their team & not Paul Hewitt…
Hewitt will be fine with or without Tech..
BTW there are two bigs that were redshirted last year that are pegged to replace Gani (who made a terrible decision) and Favors…
Plus whoever Hewitt gets in recruiting.. Good Luck to ya Favors..

Lose some weight

April 9th, 2010
2:22 pm

can’t wait until you eat yourself out of the league.

ClemsonFan87

April 9th, 2010
2:23 pm

As much as I hate to see it happen because Clemson would have to compete against him, I have to say that this does open the door wide open for Thornton to go to Georgia Tech. Can’t see him going to UGA given their lower level basketball program and conference. Thornton would get much more exposure at GT and would be in an immediate starting role with some other highly recruited talent around him …. just wish he would stay at Clemson, though.