Gophers' Amir Coffey declares for NBA Draft

Coffey blossomed over the final eight games of his junior season.
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Gophers star player Amir Coffey announced Wednesday night that he has declared for the NBA Draft.

"The news is correct. I will be entering the 2019 NBA Draft," Coffey said in an Instagram post. "The timing felt right after our successful season. I'd like to thank my family, the fans and all my supporters." 

The decision means Coffey is foregoing his senior season of eligibility, although it's not a complete guarantee that he doesn't return to the University of Minnesota next season. 

The 6-foot-8 guard/forward has until May 29 to withdraw from the draft, and according to the Star Tribune, if Coffey is invited to the pre-draft combine in Chicago and goes undrafted, he could also choose to return for his senior year. 

Coffey led the Gophers with 16.6 points and 3.2 assists per game, being forced to play point guard having previously played mostly small forward and some shooting guard. 

He exploded late in the season, averaging 23.5 points over his final eight games, including some impressive performances on the national stage during the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. 

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If the former Minnesota high school player of the year from Hopkins doesn't return, it'll mean head coach Richard Pitino has to find three new starters. All-Big Ten forward Jordan Murphy and shooting guard Dupree McBrayer, in addition to backup big man Matz Stockman, all graduate this spring. 

University of Pittsburgh transfer Marcus Carr will be eligible after sitting out this season and is expected to be the starting point guard, but filling holes left by McBrayer and Murphy could be more challenging. 

The only two starters for sure back next season are Gabe Kalscheur and Daniel Oturu. 

The NBA Draft is June 20. 

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