As anticipated by most, including Villanova coach Jay Wright, Wildcats junior lead guard Maalik Wayns is going to put his name into the pool of available candidates for the NBA draft, the Daily News has learned.
Villanova is expected to make an official announcement later today.
That doesn't mean the 6-2 Roman Catholic product will leave a year early, but several sources have indicated that they believe it's a strong possibility.
Wayns, who led the team in scoring at 17 points per game and made second-team all-Big East despite missing several games late in the season with a knee injury, has until April 10 to take himself out of consideration and return for his final season of eligibility because he hasn't hired an agent. Until then he can work out for NBA teams to try and determine what his stock might be. He can also interview with teams and have an NBA committee of general managers evaluate his worth.
At this point it doesn't appear that he projects as a first-round pick, which would ensure a guaranteed contract.
Some aren't sure he'll be selected at all, but it only takes one team. And some have speculated that even if he has to go overseas or play in the Developmental League, Wayns could simply be ready to move on and start making money. Those people have said he might have made his mind up to do this last year, after electing not to test the waters at that time.
The Wildcats went 13-18 this season with no seniors and three junior starters, missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. They had five first-year players.
Villanova coach Jay Wright will contribute to coverage of the First Four on truTV from the Atlanta studio tonight. He also will serve as a guest studio analyst for second-round games Thursday and Friday. Wright will appear alongside Steve Smith, Seth Davis and Matt Winer on truTV's Inside March Madness to wrap up each day's action at 12:30 a.m. ET.