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Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Chris Singleton entering NBA draft

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State junior Chris Singleton, who led the Seminoles to three consecutive NCAA tournaments, said Wednesday he'll forego his final year of collegiate eligibility to enter the NBA draft.

Singleton said he has not yet signed with an agent, but is unlikely to change his mind about leaving school early.

"Unless I hear something out of the ordinary that comes from the [NBA] offices, I'm going to go for it," said Singleton, who is finishing the semester at Florida State and will be about 18 hours shy of graduation.

He becomes the fourth Seminole in as many years projected as a high NBA draft choice. Al Thornton, now with Golden State, was a first-round pick in 2007, Toney Douglas went late in the first round to the New York Knicks in 2009 and Solomon Alabi was a second-round pick last year.

Singleton leaves early with the blessing of his coach.

"He's ready," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said Wednesday. "Chris brings an intangible to the NBA. He's a lockdown defender and can play three, four positions."

The 6-9 Singleton was one of the nation's top defenders and led the Seminoles in scoring and rebounding this season. He missed several games late in the season with a broken right foot, but came back to play in the NCAA tournament.

Singleton was chosen the Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year in the 2009-2010 season as a sophomore and just missed repeating this past season after an injury knocked him out of the final five games of the regular season.

Singleton scored 975 points during his Florida State career. He ranks eighth in career steals with 180 and fourth with 136 blocked shots, the only player in school history in the top 10 of both categories.

He achieved an unusual triple-double in a 97-73 win over UNC Greensboro last November with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals. It was the first time in ACC history that steals were part of a triple-double. It was just the second triple-double in Florida State history. Bob Sura had the other 15 years earlier.

Florida State had gone 11 seasons without making it to the NCAA tournament before a Douglas-led team made it Singleton's freshman year.

"One of my goals was to make it to the tournament and end the drought," Singleton said Wednesday. "I wish we could've gone further."

Singleton and senior guard Derwin Kitchen are the only regulars leaving Florida State, which finished 23-11 and advanced into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament before being eliminated by Virginia Commonwealth