University of Kentucky basketball player Marcus Lee said Wednesday “my plan is to go to the NBA,” confirming comments made by his brother a day earlier.
Lee, a junior with one season of eligiblity remaining at Kentucky, told Jeff Goodman of ESPN that he has not hired an agent “because I want to keep my eligibility just in case I decide to come back, but my plan is to go to the NBA. That’s the only goal.”
Lee’s brother, Bryan, told the Herald-Leader on Tuesday that reaching the NBA this year is Marcus’ “focus and his goal. If not, he’ll be back for his senior season.”
The NCAA’s new liberalized rules allow players to work out for a team and participate in the by-invitation-only NBA Combine in mid-May in Chicago. Players now have until May 25 to withdraw from NBA Draft consideration and retain college eligibility.
Lee, who averaged 6.4 points, 6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 21.8 minutes last season, told ESPN’s Goodman, “I want people to know I’m serious about this.”
Lee, 21, said he wants to showcase his offensive game for NBA personnel, a skill set he told Goodman was “prominent” in high school and AAU ball before he came to Kentucky and “did what my team needed me to do.”
The 6-foot-9 Lee averaged 17.9 points, 19.4 rebounds and 6.9 blocks as a senior at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Calif., in 2012-13, and was named a McDonald’s All-American.
“In my mind, I can be a dominant player on that end of the court. I just want a chance to show that.” Lee told Goodman.
Kentucky teammates Skal Labissiere, Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis previously announced plans to sign with an agent and turn pro. All three are projected as first-round draft picks. Lee is projected by most as a second-round selection at best.