Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr. enters NBA draft

WASHINGTON — All-American Otto Porter Jr. is leaving Georgetown after his sophomore season and declaring himself eligible for the NBA draft.

“The toughest part was knowing you’re going to leave a great place like this,” Porter said Monday at a news conference on campus alongside Hoyas coach John Thompson III. “I love this place.”

Porter was the Big East player of the year and finished second in the voting behind Michigan’s Trey Burke for The Associated Press player of the year award.

Helping a team that was unranked in the preseason reach as high as No. 5 in the AP poll, Porter averaged 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, both highs for Georgetown.

The Hoyas were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, but lost their opening game to Florida Gulf Coast and finished 25-7.

The 6-foot-8 Porter, of Sikeston, Mo., was Georgetown’s sixth All-America selection and first since Allen Iverson in 1996. He also was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award.

He is widely seen as a likely lottery pick in June’s NBA draft — and perhaps a top-five selection.

It’s Porter’s all-around game that impresses, with an ability to score inside or from beyond the 3-point arc, to rebound, to set up teammates and play defense.

“Whatever they ask him to do, he’s going to be able to do,” Thompson said.

Porter’s breakout performance — the one that put him on everybody’s radar — came on the road against Big East rival Syracuse on Feb. 23. Porter produced 33 points, eight rebounds, five steals and hit five 3-pointers while playing all 40 minutes in a Hoyas victory.

After Porter had 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists when Georgetown beat Syracuse again on March 9, Orange coach Jim Boeheim declared that Porter ought to be the No. 1 overall pick in the next NBA draft.

Well, now everyone will get a chance to find out exactly where NBA teams think Porter stands.

“On draft night, we don’t expect him to be sitting around too long,” Thompson said.

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