Deadline Monday. It's June 16th, the last day for NCAA underclassmen to decide whether they will remain in the NBA draft.
Today is the day we find out whether we will get to see the Prince back in Pauley to celebrate more moments like this:
Photo Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP (via mikireynolds (flickr))
My head tells me the Prince is gone.
But my heart (yes despite my concerns about how LRMAM will fit in the offense next season) wants the Prince back in Westwood for one more magical season.
Either way ... no matter what LRMAM decides ... I wish him best of luck and a gratitude for all the great memories of last three seasons.
For those who are watching the news wires today, this is a special open thread for Luc's decision. When you hear about it, post it right away in the comments ... or you can blog it in the FanPost or FanShots section. Otherwise, one of us will update the post accordingly.
UPDATE (A): According to Luke Winn at Sports Illustrated, Luc is staying in the draft. We've had other sources confirm this and expect an official announcement any minute.
Here is the Luc-Luke-Link
UCLA junior forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is staying in the NBA draft and hiring an agent, a source close to the situation told SI.com on Monday. Mbah a Moute joins fellow Bruins underclassmen Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook in the 2008 draft, but is unlikely to be selected in the first round and receive a three-year guaranteed contract.
Mbah a Moute took his decision right up to the 5 p.m. deadline on Monday. The Cameroonian forward had indicated to NBA teams during workouts that he was willing to remain in the draft pool if presented with a favorable second-round situation. One NBA scout told SI.com that Mbah a Moute, who averaged 8.8 points and 6.0 rebounds last season, could have a long-term future as a defensive stopper in the pros, similar to the San Antonio Spurs' Bruce Bowen.
UPDATE II (N): This wasn't a surprise. From my reading of tea leaves last few weeks, I didn't see Luc coming back to UCLA . Either way - I wish Luc nothing but luck. He was an amazing athlete and gave us three incredible years. Good luck Luc. We will miss you and thank you again for wonderful three years. GO BRUINS.
UPDATE III (N): From the official site :
"Luc had a great career at UCLA, and I'm really proud of everything he helped our team accomplish during his tenure as a player at UCLA," Howland said. "He was the freshman of the year in the conference, won three Pac-10 titles and started in three Final Fours, but, more than anything, he is a winner.
"I'm sure he'll continue to provide that great attitude and work ethic at the next level in the NBA," Howland added. "I will always be grateful and appreciative of Luc. He's an outstanding player and an even better person."
As a junior, Mbah a Moute helped the Bruins compile a record of 35-4 en route to their third-straight Pac-10 title and third consecutive trip to the Final Four. The honorable mention All-Pac-10 and honorable mention Pac-10 All-Defensive Team selection was fifth on the team in scoring (8.8 ppg) and second in rebounding (6.0 rpg) last year. His 775 rebounds rank him No. 15 on UCLA's career list.
"After speaking to my family and going through the process, I feel like the time is right for me to take the next step in my basketball career and keep my name in the NBA Draft," said Mbah a Moute. "I had the greatest time of my life at UCLA. Starting in three-straight Final Fours and winning three straight Pac-10 titles is something I'll never forget. I will be a Bruin forever."
Make that a Bruin Prince forever. GO BRUINS.