: In three years at Louisiana Tech, Paul Millsap pursued rebounds with a tenacity few college basketball players display. He possesses an innate skill and is a master of rebounding, becoming the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounds for three straight years.
There were some rumors that circulated that this would be his final season. They intensified when he told reporters in October he was leaning toward entering the NBA Draft. With the lure of an NBA contract beckoning him, he made his inevitable decision on Tuesday.
Millsap announced he will forgo his senior season with the Bulldogs to enter the 2006 NBA Draft, which will be in New York City on June 28.
"It is my intention to put myself in a position to solidify myself as an early to mid-first-round pick," Millsap said.
"We talked that over for about a week or two and we came to the decision to fulfill my career. We decided (Tuesday) to go ahead and close the door on coming back to school next year.
"I had a lot of feedback from my uncle, (Tech) coach (Keith) Richard and a few agents and I felt myself personally that I have a good shot of going in the first round."
Several mock drafts have him listed as either a late first-round pick or an early second-round selection.
"Millsap is the kind of guy that can play and help any team in the NBA, especially one in need of a big body in the middle to help them on the glass," said Jonathan Givony, director of scouting for www.draftexpress.com
"I could see him playing a nice role on a playoff team, one of these teams picking 20th to 30th, but the bad teams who have multiple picks in different parts of the draft or very early in the second round could definitely use a tough physical guy like him as well."
"Securing the rebounding title is a feather in his cap, but NBA people knew he is an amazing rebounder already," Givony said.
"There were a few guys that helped their stock in the NCAA Tournament and probably rose above him, but there were also a few guys that hurt themselves at the same time."
Millsap led the Bulldogs in rebounding in 30 of their 33 games this season, including a season-high 28 rebounds against San Jose State -- a Thomas Assembly Center record.
"He's a hell of a player," one NBA executive told The Times in February.
"(Rebounding) has become unimportant to a lot of guys. When you find a guy where it's important to him, he stands out, like (Millsap) has. It's a lost art."