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Exclusive: Duquesne forward/center Shawn James to declare for NBA Draft

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| Mar. 26, 2008

Exclusive: Duquesne forward/center Shawn James told editor Jeff Lenchiner he plans to declare himself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft, though the junior underclassman won't sign with an agent so he will retain the option to return to Duquesne for his senior season.

Players who do officially declare early entry have until June 16 to withdraw and return to school.

Two years ago while playing for Northeastern, the 6-10 James, a thin, athletic big-man, led all of Division 1 college basketball with an incredible 6.5 blocks per game.

"I think I'm capable of playing on that level," James told about the NBA. "I'm just looking for the opportunity to compete at the next level."

Last year James transferred to Duquesne, and due to NCAA rules had to sit out. He was one of the Duquesne players who got shot last year in a famous, unproked attack that injured five players, but recovered long ago.

This season, the versatile, super-defender averaged team-leading stats in three categories -- 12.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game -- despite playing just 23.8 minutes per outing in an unusual system that gave fairly equal minutes to virtually the entire rotation. Eight Duquesne players averaged between 19.1 and 26.4 minutes per game. Looking at other Atlantic-10 conference teams, the majority of squads had three or four players who averaged more minutes per game than anyone on Duquesne.

"I'm much more than just a shot-blocker," said James to

As said above, James is not going to sign with an agent and will test the NBA Draft waters. is your complete pro basketball news source. And we cover every aspect of the NBA Draft. Post your opinion on the InsideHoops college basketball forum.

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