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Center Jakob Poeltl Declares for the 2016 NBA Draft

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In what was a very tough decision for him, Utah sophomore center Jakob Poeltl announced today that he will forego his final two years of eligibility at Utah and declare for the 2016 NBA Draft. Poeltl, a 7'1" center from Vienna, Austria, was the 2016 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Player of the Year. With his size, athleticism, and soft hands, Poeltl is regarded as a likely top 10 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. After his freshman season, Poeltl was regarded as a possible lottery pick, but he opted to stay in school, where he made huge strides as a sophomore, especially as a free throw shooter. As a sophomore, Poeltl averaged 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. He helped lead Utah to a 26-8 record and a berth in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. If drafted, Poeltl would become the first ever Austrian NBA player. Poeltl will be missed, but there is little left for him to prove in college, and he will develop faster in the NBA. Utah has done a great job in recruiting to replace Poeltl as well. Four-star recruit Jayce Johnson (who redshirted this season) will be the likely replacement for Poeltl.