By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG On a day when projected No. 1 pick Nerlens Noel threw his name into the NBA Draft, another Lottery-bound big man followed suit on Monday afternoon.University of Maryland sophomore center Alex Len will forego his final two years of eligibility in College Park and declare for an NBA Draft that is expected to be weak by many accounts, but should produce several big men as lottery picks. Noel, Indiana sophomore center Cody Zeller and 20-year-old French big man Rudy Gobert are all projected to be chosen inside the top 10 come June. Len is currently projected as the No. 11 overall pick by DraftExpress. Len and Terrapins head coach Mark Turgeon are scheduled to hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Comcast Center. As a sophomore, the 7-foot-1 Len averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while leading the ACC with 78 blocks. The Antratsit, Ukraine native was named honorable mention All-ACC and was a member of the All-ACC Defensive. “I’m very grateful for the two years I’ve spent at Maryland and for everyone that has supported me during my time here,” Len said in a statement. “It’s been an honor to play here and I’ve learned so much. I want to thank Coach Turgeon and the coaching staff for believing in me and helping me grow as a player and a person. I also want to thank my teammates who were always there for me. We shared some great moments together. I’ve grown a lot, both on the court and off the court, over the past two years and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.” Len’s improvement from his freshman season to his sophomore season was drastic. His scoring went from 6.0 points per game to 11.9, while his rebounding increased from 5.4 to 7.8 per game. For his career, Len holds averages of 9.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He played in 60 games with 48 starts, 37 of those coming in 2012-13. His stock began to rise back in November when he scored 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds and four blocks in a 72-69 loss to Kentucky at Barclays Center. That effort came at the expense of Noel and fellow-freshman Willie Cauley-Stein, a 7-footer who will be returning to Lexington for his sophomore season. Follow Josh Newman on Twitter
Special to ZAGSBLOG On a day when projected No. 1 pick Nerlens Noel threw his name into the NBA Draft, another Lottery-bound big man followed suit on Monday afternoon.