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Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk to enter 2013 NBA Draft

Apr 19, 2013, 3:21 PM EST

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(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

Coming off of a redshirt year it was anyone’s guess what 7-foot center Kelly Olynyk would give the Gonzaga Bulldogs this season.

All Olynyk did was become one of the best players in the country, helping to lead Gonzaga to its first-ever number one ranking in the national polls and a one-seed in the NCAA tournament.

And as first reported by Jim Meehan of the Spokesman-Review Olynyk has played his last game in a Gonzaga uniform, choosing to forego his senior season to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. Olynyk averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season, making a significant jump after sitting out the entire 2011-12 campaign.

Olynyk earned WCC Player of the Year honors and was named an All-American by the NABC, Associated Press and John R. Wooden Award selection committees. He is expected to be a first-round selection in June’s draft with a spot in the lottery considered to be within reach.

“It was tough. When you talk to people no one really tells you to go or not go; everyone says it’s your decision,” said Olynyk in a release from the school. “Everyone tells you why you should go and why you could come back. Everyone kind of leaves you hanging in that sense. They just say go with your heart, go with your gut and that’s what will make the best decision.”

With Olynyk, Elias Harris and Guy Landry Edi departing head coach Mark Few has some major holes to fill in the front court. Sam Dower returns for his senior season, and the departures make this offseason an important one for 7-1 center Przemek Karnowski.

Karnowski averaged 10.7 minutes per game as a freshman, accounting for 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest. Gonzaga was in a position where they didn’t have to ask too much of the highly-touted prospect from Poland, but that will change in 2013.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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