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Menzies says Siakam likely to test NBA draft

SIAKAM: His coach expects him to test draft

SIAKAM: His coach expects him to test draft

LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State men’s basketball coach Marvin Menzies said he is 99 percent sure that 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Pascal Siakam will take advantage of the new NCAA rules for the NBA draft, after the Aggies’ 58-56 NIT loss to Saint Mary’s on Tuesday night.

The NCAA approved a new rule in January in which the withdrawal deadline for the NBA draft is now 10 days after the draft combine, which ends May 15 in Chicago. Players may also enter the NBA draft multiple times without jeopardizing their collegiate eligibility. They may also participate in the draft combine and get one workout per NBA team per year to allow early entrants to learn about their draft stock before deciding whether to come back to school or go to the NBA draft.

“That’s what we are thinking about doing,” Menzies said Tuesday night. “It was probably a high probability that he’ll do that. We’ll talk with his family to be 100 percent sure. But I think that’s what we will probably do. He won’t hire an agent or do any of that stuff though.”

Menzies said he has not talked with Siakam about it, but might do that later in the week.

“Once we (have a sit-down talk), if he doesn’t want to do it, for whatever reason, then we won’t do it,” Menzies said. “I think he’s getting enough interest to see what the process is like and get that experience.”

Siakam, the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, is currently projected as a late second-round pick by DraftExpress, a professional scouting website. First-round picks receive guaranteed contracts, while second-round picks do not. Siakam has had numerous NBA scouts watching him throughout his short career.

The post from Douala, Cameroon, ultimately could be the first NMSU player to be drafted since Randy Brown in 1991.

Siakam finished the season with 27 doubles-doubles, tied for first in the nation, while averaging 20.3 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Entering this week, Siakam was ranked 24th in the nation in scoring and eighth in rebounding. He also had 77 blocks, averaging 2.24 per game.

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