Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ready or Not, Randell FSU's Jackson Enters Draft Early

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ready or Not, Randell FSU's Jackson Enters Draft Early

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE -- comes as a surprise, Florida state junior

forward Randell Jackson made himself eligible for the NBA Draft

yesterday, filing a formal letter with the league. Although the

6-foot-11 Jackson led the Seminoles in scoring (12.7 ppg) and

was second in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and blocked shots (37) this

past season, he hardly turned in the kind of numbers worthy of

draft consideration.

"I think he's made a terrible mistake; he should stay in

school," said NBA Director of Scouting Marty Blake. "Who told

him he could play at the NBA level? Jackson is not ready to

play at our level; I think [he] is a fair college basketball

player and that's it."

Jackson, 22, is prepared to prove Blake and others wrong.

He hopes to earn an invitation to the NBA pre-draft workout in

Chicago, leading up to the June 24 draft.

"What's ready? Everybody says I'm not ready for [for the

NBA]," Jackson said. "A lot of people in the NBA are not ready.

All you have to do is go in, work hard and develop. It's a

learning process either way, whether you're ready or not. . . .

"Basically, what I'm doing is exploring the situation. After

playing in Chicago, finding out where I'm at [in the draft], you

have that situation where you can take your name out the day

before the draft."

Of the 40 underclassmen who declared themselves eligible for

last year's draft, only 19 were selected in the 58-player,

tworound draw.

Since 1976, a total of 284 players -- underclassmen, junior

college, high school and foreign -- have declared themselves

draft eligible and only 176 have been drafted.

Jackson can remove his name from the draft list prior to draft

day and still retain his collegiate eligibility. He could also

return for his senior season if he goes undrafted and notifies

FSU within 30 days after that draft that he intends to return to

school.

That, however, doesn't appear to be a priority for the Boston

native, who stressed the importance of being able to financially

support his family. …

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