April 20, 2001
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Clemson, SC – Clemson All-ACC guard Will Solomon has declared his intentions to enter the 2001 NBA draft. Solomon made the announcement during a press conference at Littlejohn Coliseum on Friday.
The junior from East Hartford, CT said he would not hire an agent and would keep his options open until the June 20th deadline. The NBA draft is scheduled for June 27. Underclassman have until May 13 to declare for the draft.
“I stayed up all night in order to complete this decision,” said Solomon. “At this time I think declaring for the NBA draft is the right thing to do. I am not going to sign with an agent so I can keep my option to come back to Clemson open. I would certainly love to help Clemson reach the NCAA Tournament, something I have not done since I have been here.
“It want to thank everyone associated with Clemson. My experience here has been great. The coaching staff has been very supportive my entire career and in this process. My teammates have also been very supportive. I also want to thank everyone in the Clemson community. I appreciate everything they have done for me.
“Clemson is a rising team. We have a great group of guys and a great group coming in. This team is going to be successful next year no matter what.
“In the meantime I am going to work hard to prepare for my ultimate goal, stay in school and keep my options open.”
Solomon was a first-team All-ACC player as a sophomore and a second-team selection as a junior. This past season he averaged 19.7 points a game, fourth highest in the ACC, after scoring 20.9 a game as a sophomore, best in the conference. He scored 1218 points over the last two years, 20.3 points a game. If he comes back for his senior year, he will need 450 points to break Elden Campbell’s Clemson career scoring record of 1880 points. When he was named first-team All-ACC in 1999-00, he was the first Tiger to earn first-team All-ACC honors in 10 years, the first sophomore or freshman selected in 25 years.
Solomon owns 15 Clemson records, including most consecutive double figure scoring games. He had a streak of 52 consecutive double figure games over his sophomore and junior seasons. He also set a school record for three-point goals per game in a season, and an ACC record for scoring average improvement over consecutive years. He made a 14.6 points per game improvement from his freshman year (1998-99) to his sophomore season (1999-00).
He had a pair of 40-point scoring games over the last two years, 43 against Virginia on January 15, 2000 and 41 against Georgia Tech on January 24, 2001. His most memorable game, however, took place on Feb. 18, 2001 when he scored 26 points in just 25 minutes to lead Clemson to an upset of #1 ranked North Carolina, just the second victory over the number-one team in Clemson history.
“Will and his family have put a lot of time and thought into this decision,” said Head Coach Larry Shyatt. “I am happy that he is keeping his options open and continuing towards earning a degree from Clemson University.
“Will has shown me that he is an NBA caliber player, it is just a matter of when. Whatever his ultimate decision, I want him to have both feet firmly in place and 100 percent committed to that goal.”
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