Guard declares for NBA draft after knee injury ended season
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland says he’s leaving for the NBA draft after a knee injury ended his freshman season in November.
Garland announced his decision Tuesday to withdraw and start focusing on preparing for the draft on Twitter.
He says that the knee injury robbed him of his freshman season took an emotional toll on himself, family and teammates. Garland says he discussed his options with Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew and his family and feels passing up the rest of his eligibility to focus on the NBA draft is the “right move at the right time.”
The 6-foot-2 freshman was the nation’s No. 14 overall prospect in his high school class according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports. Garland and freshman Simi Shittu were the first two McDonald’s All-Americans ever to sign with Vanderbilt, and Garland has been projected as a first-round draft pick in this June’s NBA draft.
Garland was averaging 16.2 points over five games for Vanderbilt when he hurt his knee in a loss to Kent State and had season-ending surgery.