Reports: Murray State star Ja Morant to declare for NBA draft

After bursting onto the national radar with a phenomenal sophomore season, Murray State star Ja Morant is moving on to the NBA.

Murray State said Wednesday it has a special announcement planned involving Morant later Wednesday. According to multiple outlets, Morant will announce his decision to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and declare for the NBA draft.

Morant, an explosive 6-foot-3 guard, was one of the best players in the country this year, leading the charge for a Murray State team that won the Ohio Valley Conference title and earned a 12 seed in the NCAA tournament. Morant, who averaged 24.5 points, 10 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, put his skills on display in the Racers’ first-round upset of Marquette.

Morant dazzled with a triple-double, posting 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds in a 83-64 victory. It was the first NCAA tournament triple-double since Draymond Green in 2012. In the second round, Morant scored 28 points with five boards and four assists, but did so in a 90-62 loss to Florida State.

To those who follow the sport, Morant was already a household name, but his profile elevated with his tournament performance and further cemented his status as one of the nation’s best players — and NBA prospects.

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Murray State's Ja Morant during 2019 March Madness
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Murray State's Ja Morant during 2019 March Madness
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23: Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers celebrates his three point basket against the Florida State Seminoles in the first half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 21: Murray State Racers guard Ja Morant (12) drives past Marquette Golden Eagles forward Brendan Bailey (1) during the basketball game between Murray State Racers and Marquette Golden Eagles on March 21, 2019, at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 21: Murray State Racers guard Ja Morant (12) reacts during the second half of the NCAA Division I Men's Championship first round college basketball game between the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Murray State Racers on March 21, 2019 at XL Center in Hartford, CT. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 21: Ja Morant #12 and Darnell Cowart #32 of the Murray State Racers celebrate at the end of the first half during their first round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Marquette Golden Eagles at XL Center on March 21, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 21: Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers celebrates scoring at the end of the first half during the first round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Marquette Golden Eagles at XL Center on March 21, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 21: Ja Morant #12 greets fans post-game after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at XL Center on March 21, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Murray State guard Ja Morant answers questions after a first-round NCAA Tournament victory at XL Center in Hartford, Conn., on Thursday, March 21, 2019. Morant had a triple-double with 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds in the Racers' 83-64 victory against Marquette. (Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/TNS via Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 21: Murray State Racers guard Ja Morant (12) is interviewed at the conclusion of the during the basketball game between Murray State Racers and Marquette Golden Eagles on March 21, 2019, at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23: Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers celebrates his three point basket against the Florida State Seminoles in the first half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23: Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers attempts a shot against Christ Koumadje #21 of the Florida State Seminoles in the first half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23: Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers is defended by M.J. Walker #23 of the Florida State Seminoles in the first half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 23: Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers shoots during a game against the Florida State Seminoles in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 23: Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers stands for the national anthem before a game against the Florida State Seminoles in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 23: Murray State Racers guard Ja Morant (12) during a timeout during the basketball game between Murray State Racers and Florida State Seminoles on March 23, 2019, at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23: Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers attempts a free throw against the Florida State Seminoles in the second half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23: Head coach Matt McMahon consoles Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers against the Florida State Seminoles in the second half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
HARTFORD, CT - MARCH 23: Murray State Racers guard Ja Morant (12) during the NCAA Division I Men's Championship second round college basketball game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Murray State Racers on March 23, 2019 at XL Center in Hartford, CT. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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While Duke freshman Zion Williamson is considered a shoo-in to be the No. 1 pick, Morant could very well slide in behind Williamson as the No. 2 choice. That’s where he landed in Yahoo Sports’ most recent mock draft, and that’s where plenty of NBA scouts see envision him being selected in June’s draft.

Wherever Morant is chosen, it will cap off a miraculous rise from unknown prospect to NBA first-rounder. As Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde detailed back in January, Morant had just two scholarship offers before Murray State assistant James Kane spotted him playing in a three-on-three game at a side court of an AAU tournament in July 2016.

Kane called his boss, Murray State head coach Matt McMahon, to come see Morant with his own eyes. Not long after, Morant had another scholarship on the table and was committed to Murray State by Labor Day — before his recruitment seemed set to explode. It quickly was apparent that the Racers landed a gem as Morant averaged 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game as a freshman.

That season put him on the radar of NBA scouts. Now, after his star-studded sophomore campaign, Morant is overlooked no longer.

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