Favors declares for draft

ATLANTA -- To the surprise of no one, Derrick Favors is leaving Georgia Tech after only one season to enter the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-10 freshman forward is projected by most services as a top-five pick. Even when he signed with the Yellow Jackets, most fans and media figured he'd be one and done.

"I look forward to taking this next step in my basketball career," Favors said in a statement released by the school. "The time is right, and this is the best decision for me and my family."

Favors becomes the second key player to leave Georgia Tech early, following junior forward Gani Lawal. The duo helped the Yellow Jackets reach the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game and second round of the NCAA tournament, and their early departures leave a big hole in the frontcourt for the 2010-11 season.

"I've enjoyed my time at Georgia Tech and feel my year here has helped my development as a player," Favors said. "I'm glad we were able to get to the NCAA tournament and got a chance to play for the ACC championship."

An Atlanta native, Favors was named ACC rookie of the year after ranking second on the team in scoring (12.4 points a game) and rebounds (8.4).

"He did a tremendous job for us this year and was a big part of our success," coach Paul Hewitt said. "I'm confident he will be successful at the next level."