Oregon’s Dillon Brooks says he’s headed to the NBA draft

Oregon's Dillon Brooks says he's headed to the NBA draft

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon junior forward Dillon Brooks of Mississauga, Ont., says he is entering the NBA draft.

Brooks announced his decision, which was widely anticipated, in a video posted Wednesday on www.positionless.com.

The Canadian star praised Oregon’s coaches in the video, saying, “I was not highly recruited and they believed in me from the jump.”

“I just feel like now I’m going to take my talents to the next level and enter in the draft,” he said.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year has hired an agent, which ends his eligibility with the Ducks.

Later Wednesday, Ducks reserve guard Casey Benson announced that he planned to graduate this spring from Oregon and transfer for his final year of eligibility.

Brooks averaged 16.1 points this season for Oregon, which went to the Final Four. Known as a clutch performer, he scored winners against Tennessee, UCLA and Cal.

Brooks is the second Oregon player to say he will leave school for the NBA this week after sophomore Tyler Dorsey declared Monday. There has also been speculation about 6-foot-9 forward Jordan Bell, who averaged 10.9 points and 8.8 rebounds this season.

Dorsey, a 6-foot-4 two-year starter, averaged 14.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game this season. His play picked up as the season went on and he averaged 23.5 points over the Ducks’ five tournament games.

Benson averaged 4.9 points and 1.9 assists this season for the Ducks, playing backup to freshman starter Payton Pritchard.

Brooks and Dorsey also declared for the draft last season and went through the evaluation process but never hired agents.

Brooks, Dorsey and Bell were key to the Ducks’ first appearance in the Final Four since Oregon won the first NCAA Tournament in 1939.

Oregon finished 33-6 this season, setting a program record for wins, and made its fifth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks fell 77-76 to North Carolina in the national semifinals.

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More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

The Associated Press

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