Stephen Curry announced Thursday he would skip his senior year at Davidson and enter the 2009 NBA draft. He plans to hire an agent soon, guaranteeing there will be no turning back on this decision.
Curry said at an on-campus press conference that he had heard through the NBA grapevine he would be chosen anywhere from No.7 to No.20 in the NBA's June draft. Curry led the NCAA in scoring last season at 28.6 points per game and looks forward to the free-flowing NBA game -- he has always been at his best in the open court, doing things quickly.
If Curry does well in NBA pre-draft workouts, he could well be a lottery (top-14) pick. Curry could be available when the Charlotte Bobcats pick. Charlotte will likely have the No.12 selection, although the pre-draft lottery has not been held.
But I would guess the Bobcats wouldn't end up picking Curry at No.12. D.J. Augustin has a similar skill set to Curry's and just came off a solid rookie year as the Bobcats' sixth man, and the Bobcats also will likely have Raymond Felton back at the point. (Curry, ironically, consulted Augustin before making this decision since Augustin faced a similar stay-or-go decision a year ago at Texas).
Curry went to bed Wednesday night thinking he would probably leave for the NBA, but gave himself a night to sleep and pray on the decision before making it final. While eating an omelet on Davidson's campus Thursday morning with teammate Steve Rossiter, Curry decided for sure.
"I think I'm ready," he would say at his press conference. "I've got to take the opportunity while I have it in my hands."
Davidson coach Bob McKillop fought back tears in the press conference while describing what Curry meant to the school and how much the team and the fans would miss him. "But it's not a divorce," McKillop said later. "Stephen will always be a part of our program. He will always be here in spirit with us."
In the Curry family, father Dell had thought Stephen would go to the NBA and mother Sonya had thought he would ultimately come back to Davidson for his senior year. They weren't sure what their son was going to do, either, until an hour or so before the 11:30 a.m. press conference. They still will get to go to a number of college basketball games, though -- younger brother Seth Curry has transferred to Duke and will start playing games for the Blue Devils in 2010-11.
Curry said he will complete his coursework and be on Davidson's campus through early May. He still needs seven more courses to complete his degree and said he would try to get those done at some point. But since Davidson doesn't have summer school, that degree may not happen until his NBA career is over.
"This has been my dream for a long time," Curry said, "ever since I was a little kid going to my dad's games. I'm at peace with my decision."