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Sophomore wing Jeremy Lamb leaving UConn for NBA

Big East Basketball Tournament - West Virginia v UCONN

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: Jeremy Lamb #3 of the Connecticut Huskies puts up a shot against Deniz Kilicli #13 and Darryl Bryant #25 of the West Virginia Mountaineers during their second round game of the 2012 Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Connecticut’s had 13 players leave early for the NBA during Jim Calhoun’s coaching tenure. Sophomore Jeremy Lamb will be the 14th.

The lanky wing announced his decision Tuesday, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise. He could’ve come out last season after the Huskies’ run to the national title and been a first-round pick. Lamb might be a lottery selection this season.

“It was a difficult decision, but after much prayer and discussion with my parents, I feel that it’s in the best interest of me and my family to declare myself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball,” Lamb said in a statement.

The 6-5 All-Big East player averaged 17.7 points and 4.9 rebounds a game during UConn’s uneven season. He’s not aggressive and doesn’t take over games, but there’s no denying that with his size, long arms and shooting stroke, Lamb will be a tantalizing prospect for any pro team.

“It’s never easy to lose a great player from your program, but Jeremy has a unique opportunity that he needs to take advantage of,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. “He’s been a great kid to coach for the past two years ... his teams have won 52 games, been to two NCAA tournaments, and won a national championship. I look forward to him developing into a terrific player in the NBA and secondly, as he’s promised me, to come back and finish his degree.”

Lamb might not be the first UConn player selected in 2012, though. Center Andre Drummond is expected to be a top 10 selection if he declares for the draft.

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