Eric Ayala has likely played his last game as a Terrapin.
The Maryland guard on Tuesday confirmed his intention to declare for the 2022 NBA Draft and hire an agent, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein. Ayala was also included in the NBA’s list of early-entry draft candidates.
Ayala, who has one year left of college eligibility due to COVID-19, could still return to College Park if he withdraws his name from the draft by June 1. The Wilmington, Delaware, native declared for the draft last year but pulled out and returned for his senior season.
But Rothstein’s report that Ayala has hired an agent makes that unlikely, as does Maryland men’s basketball’s Twitter account posting about Ayala’s decision.
“Much love to EA on the next chapter. Forever a Terp,” reads the tweet.
Ayala played all four of his college seasons with Maryland, scoring 1,449 career points. A four-year starter, Ayala was second on the team in scoring last season with 14.7 points per game. Ayala, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, shot 38.3% from the field and 33.9% from behind the arc.
Ayala was an All-Big Ten honorable mention in each of the past two seasons.
The only Maryland player to score more points than Ayala was point guard Fatts Russell, who used his final year of eligibility as a transfer with the Terrapins last season. Coach Kevin Willard, who was hired to replace interim coach Danny Manning after the program’s first losing season since 1992-93, will now have to turn the ship around with a lot of new faces.