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Jake Anderson to enter the NBA draft...seriously!

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OK, this one is obviously way out in left field, but it has been reported by the official athletics site:

Here's what Head Coach Ricardo Patton has to say on the subject:

"Obviously, we support Jake's decision to weigh his options, and his desire to be a part of this process," said NIU head coach Ricardo Patton. "It will be a great opportunity for him to continue to mature as a basketball player and a chance for him to further develop as a team leader. Ultimately, this process will benefit both Jake and the Northern Illinois men's basketball program, as we look forward to the 2009-10 season."

And Darion "Jake" Anderson himself:

"After meeting with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to enter the NBA Draft," Anderson said. "I am confident that this experience will help me learn more about what my strengths and weaknesses are; but more importantly, become a better college player.

"I will not be hiring an agent, in order to preserve my college eligibility. If things don't work out, I plan to return to the program, and hope I will be welcomed back by everyone."

I'm relieved by reading both of those statements, as it sounds like he will wait and go through the process without actually hiring an agent and entering.  It would be a shocker if he did, because he isn't yet a complete enough player to succeed on the next level.  Or is he?

This is all about Jake getting drilled and tested so that he can be more prepared for next year not only being a leader on the team, but seeing what the scouts are looking for in him to improve his game.  He was the best player on the team last year scoring almost 17 ppg, but still has some major holes in his game that he will try to improve in preparation for the draft.

John Sahly of the Daily Chroncle agrees with this sentiment:

John Sahly's quick take: If I ever had this chance, I'd take it. I would be surprised to see Anderson stay in the draft after June 15 and I expect to see him back at NIU next season. But, if you can find out what you need to work on for NBA teams to like you and get a fair reading of where you stand with those teams without losing eligibility, why not do it?

The last sentence is the most important.  Why not do it if you have the potential talent that Jake Anderson has?