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Statesman: Tristan Thompson To Enter 2011 NBA Draft

According to Mark Rosner of the Austin Statesman, Texas Longhorns freshman Tristan Thompson will enter the 2011 NBA Draft.

Thompson had initially said that he would return for his sophomore year in Austin, and I applauded his choice, thinking he needed to work on his interior game more to bring it to the next level.

But wisely Thompson has changed his mind, probably due in large part to other freshman deciding to stay in school.  With Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones III and Harrison Barnes returning to their respective schools, Thompson has now, by default, moved three slots up in the minds of NBA scouts.

When Thompson officially announces his intentions to enter the draft, the Big 12 will lose its two most recent Freshman of the Year award recipients, after Colorado Buffaloes sophomore Alec Burks put his name into the hat on Thursday.

Draft website has Thompson going 11th overall -- completing a run of four straight Big 12ers after Marcus Morris, Burks and Markieff Morris -- to the Golden State Warriors.  While draft site competitor Draft Express has him going 16th overall to the Philadelphia 76ers -- amidst a run of FIVE straight Big 12ers, including the three above and fellow Longhorn Jordan Hamilton (who has not declared and said he would be returning to school despite reports to the contrary).

On the season Thompson averaged 13.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the Horns.