According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, Jordan Clarkson is off to the pros.
Missouri's Jordan Clarkson is headed to the NBA, sources told ESPN: http://t.co/wyHK5AzFnh— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 31, 2014
ESPN report about Clarkson seems right. Heard he was meeting with agents over the weekend.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) March 31, 2014
If it's true that he's met with agents and is, presumably, signing with one, then that's that. I figured it was a guarantee that he would test the draft waters, but this certainly suggests he's made his decision and jumped into the pool.
We obviously knew that both Clarkson and Jabari Brown could be leaving after this season, though it's disappointing that this happens on the heels of Clarkson's late-season fade. Clarkson is blessed with good size and fantastic athleticism, but his development as a point guard stalled as opponents began to figure out his strengths and weaknesses. He made just six of his final 35 3-point attempts, he got to the line less frequently, and he averaged 3.8 turnovers per game over his final 10 contests. He could have obviously used another year of development in terms of technique and instinct, but if you get word that you're a likely first-round pick, you go, you take the money, and you worry about development later.
Goodman also reports that we'll probably find out about Jabari Brown's stay-or-go decision later this week as well. Brown and Clarkson both said that one's decision might help to sway the other, and Brown isn't nearly as likely to improve his stock or game with another year as Clarkson would have been, so the odds are certainly decent that he's gone as well. We'll see.
UPDATE: MUtigers.com published a letter from Clarkson to the Mizzou family.
I'd like to begin by saying how humbled and appreciative I am to the University of Missouri and the City of Columbia for the warm reception I received in 2012, when I arrived after transferring from the University of Tulsa.
Everyone associated with Mizzou, the coaches, my teammates, administration and fans welcomed me in with open arms and afforded me the opportunity to continue my dream of getting an education and playing basketball at such a prestigious university. Words simply cannot express the gratitude I feel towards Coach Haith for bringing me into this program and helping me leave this spring as a University of Missouri graduate!
I also want to thank my teammates for the warm reception I received when I first arrived. I hope they were able to learn as much from me as I learned from them. It's a fantastic group of guys and a group that will make Tiger Nation proud, not only with their play on the court, but their love for our great university.
With that being said, I wanted to write this letter to our fans to let you know personally that I have decided to forgo my senior year at Missouri and enter the 2014 NBA draft. It wasn't an easy decision. I have so much respect for everyone here and the impact you have made on my life has been immense. However, it is a decision that I've thought through and discussed with my family on numerous occasions. Having their full support makes this decision much easier.
I will miss the University of Missouri, the coaching staff, basketball program and Columbia. Mizzou will always have a special place in my heart and I will always cherish the memories, maturity and the experiences I gained while playing basketball for Mizzou.