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Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk declares for NBA draft

Apr 19, 2013, 4:59 PM EDT

WCC Basketball Tournament - Championship Saint Mary's v Gonzaga Getty Images

This was expected, it’s just strange to think of Gonzaga as a place players leave early to get to the NBA.

This was expected and now it is official, Gonzaga’s star center Kelly Olynyk has declared for the NBA draft reports the Spokane Spokesman-Review. He’s considered a late lottery, mid-first round pick, with DraftExpress having him at No. 13 right now.

You know him as that guy with the long hair who could blend in at a Kid Rock concert (well, except for when your 7’0” and 240 pounds you don’t really “blend in” anywhere).

Scouts know him for more than the hair — he has size, moves well and has a really good scoring touch. He averaged 17.3 points a game on 62 percent shooting — he shot 35 percent from three, so he has range — plus grabbed 7.3 rebounds a contest. That’s efficient, and teams like efficient big men. He runs the floor and could be a good pick-and-roll big with his mobility and touch.

The questions about him are the ones you see about a lot of guys coming out of smaller conferences — is he physical enough, can be a tough rebounder, and how will he do as an average athlete against more elite players? There are questions about his defensive ability, too.

We didn’t get to see a lot of him in the NCAA tournament as Gonzaga was one of Wichita State’s early victims.

He’s going to get an NBA shot, and big men who can score tend to stick around the NBA for a long time.

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