April 14, 2005
Notre Dame, Ind. - University of Notre Dame forward Torin Francis (Boston, Mass.) announced today that he has made himself eligible for the 2005 National Basketball Association draft on June 28.
Francis does not plan to hire an agent, but will participate in the NBA pre-draft June 7-10 in Chicago. An underclassman that declares early can return to school and pull his name from the draft on or before June 21 (one week prior to the draft) if he doesn't sign with an agent.
After returning from back surgery that curtailed his sophomore season, the 6-10 junior averaged 9.3 points (fourth-leading scorer) in 2004-05 and was the leading rebounder for the third straight year averaging 7.9 boards. Francis scored in double figures in 14 contests and grabbed 10-plus rebounds in eight games. He also led Notre Dame with six doubles-doubles. Francis scored a season-high 21 points against Rutgers and season-best 14 boards versus Samford.
As sophomore, Francis played in 20 contests before undergoing back surgery for a herniated disc. An all-BIG EAST honorable mention selection, he averaged 14.2 points and a team-leading 8.8 rebounds. Francis scored in double figures in 16 of 20 contests during the 2003-04 campaign and grabbed 10-plus rebounds in eight games. He also recorded seven double-doubles.
In his freshman season, Francis averaged 11.1 points and 8.4 rebounds en route to earning BIG EAST all-rookie team honors. He reached double figures in 19 games and grabbed 10-plus rebounds in 12 games. Francis set a Notre Dame freshman record when he grabbed 20 rebounds in the third game of the season against Bucknell.
Francis has started all 83 games he has played and owns career averages of 11.2 points and 8.3 rebounds (931 points and 686 rebounds). He is tied for fourth on the career blocked shots list with 126 and ranks fourth all-time with a 1.5 career average.
Statement from Mike Brey: "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. 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."
Statement from Torin Francis:
"I feel like I owe it to myself and my family to explore this option. 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."