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COLLEGE BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: FSU's Singleton, Arizona's Williams headed to NBA; UGA men, women sign recruits on opening of D-I signing day

Photo by Sam Lane

Photo by Sam Lane

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State junior Chris Singleton, who led the Seminoles to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, said Wednesday he'll forego his final year of collegiate eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.

Singleton said he has not yet signed with an agent, but is unlikely to change his mind about leaving school early.

"Unless I hear something out of the ordinary that comes from the (NBA) offices, I'm going to go for it," said Singleton, who is finishing the semester and Florida State and will be about 18 hours shy of graduation.

He becomes the fourth Seminole in as many years projected as a high NBA draft choice. Al Thornton, now with Golden State, was a first-round pick in 2007, Toney Douglas went late in the first round to the New York Knicks in 2009 and Solomon Alabi was a second-round pick last year.

Singleton leaves early with the blessing of his coach.

"He's ready," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said Wednesday. "Chris brings an intangible to the NBA. He's a lockdown defender and can play three, four positions."

The 6-foot-9 Singleton was one of the nation's top defenders and led the Seminoles in scoring and rebounding this season. He missed several games late in the season with a broken right foot, but came back to play in the NCAA tournament.

Singleton was chosen the Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year in the 2009-2010 season as a sophomore and just missed repeating this past season after an injury knocked him out of the final five games of the regular season.

Singleton scored 975 points during his Florida State career. He ranks eighth in career steals with 180 and fourth with 136 blocked shots, the only player in school history in the top 10 of both categories.

He achieved an unusual triple-double in a 97-73 win over UNC Greensboro last November with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals. It was the first time in ACC history that steals were part of a triple-double. It was just the second triple-double in Florida State history. Bob Sura had the other 15 years earlier.

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ARIZONA'S WILLIAMS HEADED TO NBA:

Arizona forward Derrick Williams is heading to the NBA after two program-rebuilding seasons in the desert.

The Pac-10's player of the year announced Wednesday that he will sign with an agent and won't return for his junior season.

Williams averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 59 percent as a sophomore this past season, leading the Wildcats to the West Regional final after missing the NCAA tournament the year before.

Williams has been projected as a lottery pick because of his athleticism and versatility.

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MARQUETTE GETS "LITTLE" MAYO:

Marquette coach Buzz Williams said Wednesday that guard Todd Mayo signed a letter of intent with the Golden Eagles for his 2011 class.

Mayo is a 6-3, 190-pound guard from Huntington, W.V., who led Notre Dame Prep to the National Prep Championship game last season. He will have four years of eligibility with Marquette.

Mayo averaged 22 points and six assists this past season after previously playing at Houston High (2008-09) and Germantown High (2009-10) in the Memphis area.

Mayo is the brother of Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo.

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UCF LANDS ONE OF NATION'S TOP CENTERS:

Central Florida landed its highest-ranked basketball player in school history, signing center Michael Chandler to a national letter of intent.

The 6-10 Chandler became an official member of UCF's incoming recruiting class on Wednesday, joining Floridians Rod Days, Wayne Martin and Kasey Wilson, who signed back in November. Chandler is signing with UCF after previously committing to both Louisville and Xavier.

Chandler is rated as the 4th-best center in the nation and 47th-ranked overall senior prospect by Rivals.com.

MIAMI STILL LOOKING FOR NEW COACH:

New Miami athletic director Shawn Eichorst, speaking on a conference call Wednesday, says no candidates have been excluded from the search, and that no one has yet been offered the job.

Kansas State's Frank Martin, believed to be a leading candidate, said Tuesday he has had no talks with UM so far.

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UGA MEN INK PLAYER FROM MONTENEGRO:

ATHENS -- University of Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox announced on Wednesday the signing of Nemanja Djurisic, a native of Montenegro, to a national letter-of-intent to attend UGA and play next season for the Bulldogs.

Though Djurisic originally hails from Podgorica, Montenegro, he played the 2010-11 season at the South Kent School in South Kent, Conn. In his lone season there, the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward averaged 20.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for the Cardinal, which went 18-14. South Kent's prep basketball program has recently produced Isaiah Thomas of Washington and Andray Blatche of the NBA's Washington Wizards.

"We're very excited to have added 'Nemi' to the program for next year," Fox said. "He's a terrific shooter with good size and a great feel for the game."

Djurisic also has extensive experience playing internationally for four straight Montenegrin national teams at the 2007-10 Under 18 European Championships.

The signing of Djurisic brings the number of 2010-11 Georgia signees to four. He joins the following trio, who signed last November during the early signing period: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a 6-6 guard from Greenville; Tim Dixon, a 6-10 forward from Columbus.; and John Florveus, a 7-0 center from Fort Myers, Fla.

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UGA WOMEN SIGN TWO:

ATHENS -- Georgia coach Andy Landers, looking for immediate help next season, signed two junior college players, Danielle Bennett and Marisela Rodriguez, on Wednesday.

Bennett, a 5-foot-10 guard from Springfield, Mo., averaged 16.2 points and 7.6 rebounds for Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College.

The 6-foot-4 Rodriguez, from Garden City (Kan.) Community College, will give Georgia needed size. The native of Garden City averaged 11.2 points and 7.8 rebounds last season.