Syracuse Basketball: Dion Waiters Officially Declares for the NBA Draft

Gene SiudutContributor IIIMarch 26, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24:  Dion Waiters #3 of the Syracuse Orange reacts after a basket against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Final at TD Garden on March 24, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

In a statement released by the Syracuse Athletic Department, sophomore guard Dion Waiters announced his intention to enter the NBA draft.

In the release, Waiters stated,


"'I've decided to pursue my dream of becoming a professional basketball player by entering my name in the NBA Draft this spring. I plan on signing with an agent.

"'I want to thank my coaches and my teammates. I've had an amazing experience at Syracuse University.

"'I also want to thank all the Syracuse basketball fans. They are the best in college basketball.'"


Waiters, who came off the bench for the Orange, was selected as the Big East Conference Sixth Man of the Year. He was second on the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game and led the team in steals with 1.8 per outing.

Syracuse will certainly miss Waiters' contributions. He was a spark off the bench for a team that won a school-record 34 games and ran away with the Big East regular-season title. Waiters' and the Orange's season came to an end in the East Regional Finals of the NCAA tournament with a 77-70 loss to Ohio State.

The 6'4", 215-pound sophomore was generally considered a player who could start on almost any team in America, but after a tumultuous freshman year in which he considered leaving the program, Waiters slid into the back-up role beautifully and was one of the Orange's most valuable players.

In addition to Waiters, seniors Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine will leave the program due to graduation. There is no word on Fab Melo's intentions, who was declared ineligible for the NCAA tournament due to academic reasons.