Thursday , Apr , 14 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Notre Dame’s Francis declares for draft

South Bend, IN (Sports Network) – Notre Dame forward Torin Francis announced
Thursday that he plans to forego his final year of eligibility and make
himself eligible for the 2005 NBA Draft.

Francis will not hire an agent, leaving his option of returning to the Irish
open. An underclassman that declares early can return to school and pull his
name from the draft on or before June 21 if he doesn’t sign with an agent.

The 6-foot-10 junior averaged 9.3 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds in

“I feel like I owe it to myself and my family to explore this option,” said
Francis. “I feel comfortable with the decision I have made to look into the
opportunity of playing at the next level because I have the full support of
Coach Brey and the entire Notre Dame community.”

Francis has started all 83 games he has played and owns career averages of
11.2 points and 8.3 rebounds. He is tied for fourth on the school’s career
blocked shots list with 126 and ranks fourth all-time with a 1.5 career

“While my gut tells me that Torin Francis is a four-year player for us here at
Notre Dame, I fully support the decision he has made to explore the option he
has of playing in the NBA next season,” said head coach Mike Brey. “My job now
is to help him collect information on where he stands in regards to the June
draft. We need to keep in mind that this is a young man that has undergone
major back surgery and I understand that he may want to take advantage of the
fact that he is healthy right now.”

Francis had surgery for a herniated disc in his back after his sophomore