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Williams to Make Jump to the NBA

April 25, 2006

STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut point guard Marcus Williams said Tuesday he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-3 Williams is considered one of the nation’s top playmakers. He appeared in 47 games at UConn, starting 31 and averaging 7.3 points and 6.6 assists.

He becomes the third underclassman to leave UConn early this year, joining junior forward Josh Boone and sophomore swingman Rudy Gay. Boone is the only one of the three who said he won’t hire an agent, allowing him to return to school next season. He has until June 18 to withdraw from the draft.

Williams’ decision ends a college career marred by academic problems and an arrest.

He missed most of the 2003-04 national championship season because of poor grades, and was suspended from the team for the first half of the 2005-06 season after being charged with trying to sell laptop computers stolen from campus dorm rooms.

He was eventually granted a special form of probation for first-time offenders and will have his criminal records erased if he successfully completes 18 months probation.

Williams becomes the 11th player in UConn history to declare early.

Williams, Boone and Gay join Donyell Marshall, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Khalid El-Amin, Caron Butler, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor and Charlie Villanueva.

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