San Diego State junior forward Jamaal Franklin has made the decision to forgo his senior season and enter the NBA Draft.
Over the last three seasons, Franklin has made SDSU a force out west. He led his team in points and rebounds the past two seasons and was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year his sophomore season.
Franklin’s decision comes at an interesting time for the forward, who would have had an excellent opportunity to make an NCAA tournament run with the Aztecs for a fourth consecutive season. Instead, he chooses to try to join former teammate Kwai Leonard in the association. Franklin’s value will be substantially higher in this draft because of the overall weakness of the field.
San Diego State will be replacing four starters next season including Franklin, who was the only player in the country to lead his team in scoring (16.9 ppg), assists (3.3 apg), rebounding (9.5 rpg) and steals (1.6 spg). Chase Tapley, James Rohan and DeShawn Stephens are all graduating this spring.
The Aztecs will have a lot of work to do if they even want to begin dreaming about a Mountain West title next season. Head coach Steve Fisher has some young talent and recruits waiting in the ranks, but replacing four of your top scorers with a group of freshmen and sophomores is all but impossible.
Not only was Franklin electric for San Diego State, but he was efficient. He was always the No. 1 scoring option for the Aztecs and figures to be a late second-round choice in the NBA Draft.
John Engel is a Pac-12 basketball writer for Rant Sports and also works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in Los Angeles. Follow John on Twitter: @engelsportsguy.