Creighton's Justin Patton to apply for NBA draft, sign with agent

Photo: MGN

Creighton University’s Justin Patton, the 2017 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, will apply for the NBA Draft and intends to sign with an agent.

In doing so, Patton will give up his final three seasons of eligibility with the Bluejays.

Patton said,

After much deliberation with my family and the Creighton coaching staff, I have decided the time is right to pursue my dream of playing professional basketball.

He continued to say: “I have loved every bit of my two years at Creighton. My teammates were unbelievable, the coaching staff helped me develop, and the fans have been so supportive of our program. Thank you to everyone…I will forever be a Bluejay!”

An Omaha native, Patton led Creighton with 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per game, and was second on the club with 12.9 points per game.

He owned 72 dunks during his redshirt freshman season and owned 28 games of 10 or more points, including four games of 20 points or more.

The 7-footer’s field goal percentage (67.6 percent) led the BIG EAST, ranked second nationally in 2016-17, and is the best mark in NCAA history by a freshman in a major conference.

In addition to being BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, Patton was named Second Team All-BIG EAST, Second Team All-District 5 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and a unanimous pick to the BIG EAST’s All-Freshman Team.

He was one of 10 candidates for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, and one of 12 finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award.

He was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on three occasions.

Patton is expected to be a highly-coveted post player in the NBA Draft and has been projected as a top-20 pick by Sports Illustrated (12th), and DraftExpress (17th), ESPN (18th) and CBS Sports (19th) in recent mock drafts.

Coached by Greg McDermott, Creighton went 25-10 in 2016-17.

“I haven’t coached many young men with the talent and potential that Justin has,” McDermott said. “It’s amazing to think of the strides he has made in the last few years, and I’m excited to see where he’ll be a few years from now. Justin’s best basketball is ahead of him, and we look forward to him joining Anthony, Doug and Kyle in the NBA in the very near future.”

The 2017 NBA Draft will take place on June 22 in New York City.