NIU's Silas declares for draft; may stay put

Northern Illinois' Xavier Silas believes he may be able to lead the nation in scoring next season. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Northern Illinois junior guard Xavier Silas told ESPNChicago.com on Saturday that he has declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft. He will not hire an agent.

"I don't see why you wouldn't do it," said Silas, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound shooting guard. "Although they have made it ridiculously impossible for underclassmen with these new rules, I think I should try it and see what happens and go from there."

Under a new NCAA rule, Silas has until May 8 to remain in the draft or withdraw his name to keep his college eligibility. Silas likely will return to Northern Illinois for his senior season as he isn't projected by any draft analysts to be selected, but he said he would weigh his options if an NBA team showed a liking to him.

"With the new rules, [the NCAA] is trying to discourage underclassmen from testing the waters," Silas said. "It has me nervous, scared. I do know that I'm not going to get a fair assessment in that time period.

"This whole thing is nerve-wracking. The teams have never done it before. The players have never done it before. At the same time, it's me entering the NBA Draft. It's exciting. You dream about this."