Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright (11) gets past Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2), pk44n=, as guard Andrew Harrison (5) looks on during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Ryan Boatright has big plans for his senior season. Weeks after he decided to forego next month's NBA Draft, the guard will use his final year of college eligibility to not only earn his degree, but boost his draft stock into an unquestioned first-round pick.
"From what I understand, I can improve my stock by showing I can run a team and be a go-to man," Boatright said recently, according to the Beacon News. Plus, I've always wanted to get my degree. I promised my mom I would do that."
There was a report that Boatright was close to entering the draft but ultimately decided against it after junior teammate DeAndre Daniels opted to leave for the NBA.
"He had to do what was best for him and his family and I had to do the same," Boatright said last week. "He's 6-9 and we have different situations."
Daniels will almost certainly be a first-rounder, too; there were no such guarantees with Boatright, at least in the 2014 draft.
"I could have gotten drafted this year, but it wasn't going to be where I always dreamed of being drafted, which is the first round," he said. ... [Coach Kevin Ollie] said, ‘I know you ‘Boat' and you're not OK sitting on the bench.' He wanted to give me the best opportunity to play (when he does reach the NBA). (Ollie) wanted me to come back to school and told me, ‘I believe in you and believe you can play in the NBA.'"
And he'll get every opportunity to prove that as a senior, where he'll be the Huskies' de facto leader now that Shabazz Napier has graduated.