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A.J. Ogilvy declares for the NBA draft, leaves Vanderbilt - The Vanderbilt Hustler: Mens Basketball

A.J. Ogilvy declares for the NBA draft, leaves Vanderbilt

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Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2010 12:00 am

After a season culminating in a disappointing March Madness appearance, Vanderbilt will look to rebound next year without the help of another Commodore, junior center A.J. Ogilvy. The Australian native announced on Thursday that he will sign with an agent and enter the 2010 NBA Draft, losing his senior year of athletic eligibility at Vanderbilt.

“I really want to thank all of the fans and coaches for everything they’ve done for me,” Ogilvy said. “I’m ready to take my game to the next level.”
The Commodores will miss the 6-foot-11-inch center’s intimidating size and offensive production in their lineup next year. While averaging 15.3 points per game over the course of his collegiate career, Ogilvy garnered three All-Southeastern Conference nods during his three seasons at Vanderbilt.
“Hopefully his agent's projections of being a late first-round draft pick are accurate, and he will have a long and prosperous NBA career," said Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings.
This season, Ogilvy combined his efforts with standout performances from senior Jermaine Beal and sophomore Jeffery Taylor, both of whom also received All-SEC honors at the end of the season. Together, the trio led the team in a season highlighted by a sweep of instate rival Tennessee and an exhilarating overtime comeback against Georgia.
Ogilvy has grabbed an average of 6.7 rebounds per game for his career, also asserting himself in the paint as the all-time leading blocker in Vanderbilt history. The center averaged 1.51 blocks per game during his tenure as a Commodore.
“We certainly appreciate everything A.J. has done, both on and off the floor, at Vanderbilt,” Stallings said. “He has had a very accomplished career and will hopefully experience the same kind of success as a professional.”
Throughout the course of Ogilvy’s career, the Commodores experienced their share of ups and downs. Helping Vanderbilt to two NCAA Tournament appearances, the junior became only the second Commodore in school history to score 1,000 points paired with 100 blocks. With his 12-point performance in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament against Murray State, Ogilvy finished with double figures for the 83rd time, but it wasn’t enough to carry his team to a tournament victory.
“The two tournament losses over the past three years will definitely haunt me,” Ogilvy said. “We won a lot of big games, and those are definitely the moments I will take with me.”
Having spent the past few weeks deciding whether to declare for the draft, Ogilvy relied heavily on the input of his family to make his final call. His coaches and fellow teammates have been supportive of his decision.
“(My teammates) are all very happy for me and excited for me to take my game to the next level,” Ogilvy said. “I wish them the best of luck, and they wish me the best of luck, too.”
To prepare for the draft, Ogilvy is focused on turning in quality workouts centered around improving his explosiveness to the basket. The center has also decided to withdraw from his academics at Vanderbilt in order to concentrate on his strength and conditioning.
“I think I’ve got the skills and the ability to mix it up with players at the next level,” Ogilvy said. “I hope I have the opportunity.”
With enthusiasm, Ogilvy enters the draft scheduled for June 24 in New York City. The Wasserman Group will represent him as he undertakes his professional pursuits.
“I think my time here is done, and I am excited to start the next phase of my life,” Ogilvy said. “It was a hard decision, but I think it’s the right decision for me.”
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