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Florida State’s Dwayne Bacon leaving early for NBA draft

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Dwayne Bacon said he felt like he wasn’t ready to turn pro last year, which is why he took his name out of consideration for the NBA draft.

This time the Florida State guard doesn’t have any doubts.

The 6-foot-7 sophomore said Wednesday that he will declare for the draft, which will be held on June 22, and hire an agent.

“I had a lot of doubt about me last year. This year I feel like I’m much more mature and got better with my game,” Bacon said. “This time there wasn’t any comeback talk because the coaches and I felt like I was ready.”

Bacon has led the Seminoles in scoring the past two years, averaging 16.5 points and becoming the second sophomore in school history to reach 1,000 points. He scored in double figures in 35 straight games, which is tied for ninth-longest in school history.

This past season Bacon averaged 17.2 points and was a second-team All-ACC selection. He helped Florida State (26-9) reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. The third-seeded Seminoles advanced to the second round before a 91-66 loss to Xavier.

“This year was a very positive year,” Bacon said. “We got back in the tournament and I wanted to get better in my overall game along with becoming a better leader.”

One area of Bacon’s game where he feels like he has grown the most over the past year is perimeter shooting. He made 57 3-pointers this season, compared to 32 as a freshman. His percentage from beyond the arc also improved from 28.3 percent to 33.3 percent. Bacon was near 38 percent at one point but was 5 of 33 on 3-point attempts in his last seven games.

Bacon has been projected to be drafted anywhere from a late first-round to middle second-round pick. He’s also expected not to be the only Florida State player to leave early. Freshman Jonathan Isaac, a 6-10 forward, is seen by most as a lottery pick after averaging 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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