Linas Kleiza is now officially a former Missouri Tiger.
Tuesday was the final day undergraduates could pull their names out of the NBA Draft pool and retain college eligibility. Kleiza continued with his plans to go pro. He’s currently projected to go in the second round of the draft, which is next Tuesday. Kleiza led MU with 17.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
He’s the fourth player in MU history to leave early for the draft. In 1999, Albert White became the first Tiger to do so and went undrafted. Keyon Dooling followed suit in 2000, forgoing his final two years of eligibility. He was taken with the 10th pick overall by the Magic, then traded to the Clippers. The last Tiger to leave early was Kareem Rush, who fled after his junior season and was taken in the first round by the Raptors, then traded to the Lakers.
Kansas City product Brandon Rush has taken his name out of the draft pool. Rush, who is the younger brother of Kareem Rush, just graduated from Mt. Zion Academy in North Carolina.