Northwestern's John Shurna Testing NBA Draft Waters


Northwestern Wildcats junior forward John Shurna declared for the 2011 NBA Draft but hasn't hired an agent. He's eligible to return to NU for his senior year if he withdraws by May 8th.

"This is an exciting opportunity for John and I fully support his
decision," Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody said in a statement.
"It's a chance for him to pursue his dream and we look forward to
helping him gather information throughout the process."

Most likely, this is chance for him to get feedback from NBA scouts
on what he needs to do to better prepare himself for the 2012 draft. He
can find out what he needs to do to improve his game, and he be ready
for the next draft. Shurna is not really listed in any of the NBA mock
drafts out there, but his stock may rise a little given that this is
likely to be the weakest draft class of all time. Eight sure-fire
lottery picks have decided to return to school because the lockout is
going to be on, and it's going to get ugly.

Still, this is exciting, uncharted territory in Evanston. It's been awhile since a college basketball player declared early for the NBA Draft at Northwestern.

A third-team All-Big Ten pick by the media,
Shurna led the Wildcats with an average of 16.6 points per game. He
averaged 23.3 points per game over Northwestern's first 10 contests
(against the softest part of the schedule) before suffering an ankle
injury that limited him the rest of the season. Shurna was one of the
nation's top 3-point shooters in 2010-11, with a .434 percentage from
beyond the arc.

Shurna has a great (although very ugly looking) shot, and his range,
especially given his size, will certainly turn scouts heads. However, he
really lacks size, especially for the four. He really has a lot of work
to do in order to truly fit the mold to play either forward position at
the next level.

Shurna's 1,150 points over the last two seasons are the second most
in consecutive campaigns in school history. He tallied a Northwestern
single-season record 619 points as a sophomore while earning second-team
All-Big Ten honors. Along the way, he was named the nation's Most
Improved Player by Sporting News.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports He's also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and Facebook

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