- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Wake Forest star Jeff Teague is staying in the NBA draft, ending his college career after just two seasons.

Teague announced in April he would declare but not hire an agent, allowing him the option of returning to school in Winston-Salem for his junior year. But coach Dino Gaudio said Teague told him shortly before Monday afternoon’s deadline to withdraw that he would stay in the draft.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity that Jeff has in front of him,” Gaudio said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s his dream to play in the NBA. I’m glad we were able to help him reach that goal.

“I told his mom and dad, ‘Thanks for giving me the opportunity to coach your son for two years.’”

Gaudio said he figured Teague was a 50-50 bet to stay in the draft when he first declared, and he expects the 6-foot-2 guard will be a first-round pick.

“I think if Jeff never worked out for anyone, Jeff is a first-round pick,” Gaudio said. “These NBA scouts have seen us play six, seven or eight times. They’re not going to make some decision on a kid just from an hour-and-a-half workout.”

Teague worked out Monday for his hometown team, the Indiana Pacers, along with fellow Atlantic Coast Conference guard Ty Lawson of North Carolina.

Teague led the Demon Deacons (24-7) at about 19 points per game, helping them earn a No. 1 ranking in January before being upset by Cleveland State 84-69 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Teague was a second-team all-ACC pick.

Teague is the second sophomore to declare from the Demon Deacons, joining forward James Johnson. The 6-9 forward signed with an agent in April, robbing the Demon Deacons of their No. 2 scorer (15 points) and top rebounder (8.5).

After losing Teague and Johnson, the Demon Deacons will rely more heavily on sophomore Al-Farouq Aminu (12.9 points per game), and seniors Chas McFarland, L.D. Williams and Ish Smith.

The draft is June 25.

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