Providence's Bentil declares for NBA draft, won't hire agent

Mar 23, 2016 - 10:53 PM PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Providence sophomore Ben Bentil says that he will declare for the NBA draft but not hire an agent, leaving open the option to return to school.

The forward announced his intentions in a statement released Wednesday. He has until May 25 to withdraw his name from draft consideration without forfeiting the remainder of collegiate eligibility.

The 6-foot-9 Bentil had a breakout season, leading the Big East in scoring at 21.2 points per game and averaging 7.7 rebounds. His efforts earned him first-team Big East honors. He also was named the conference's most improved player. Bentil scored 20 or more points in 21 of Providence's 35 games, including a season-high 42 at Marquette.

The Friars finished 24-11, losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to North Carolina.

Bentil said he intends to stay in school this spring and finish his sophomore year.

''We support Ben and as he goes through this process,'' Providence coach Ed Cooley said in a statement. ''We believe this will enable him to gain valuable experience and have better knowledge about when it will be best for him to pursue his dreams of playing in the NBA.''

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