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Tech's Lawal to test NBA waters
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ATLANTA — Georgia Tech forward Gani Lawal said he will make himself available for the NBA draft but will not sign with an agent, leaving the door open to return to school and a chance to avenge the Yellow Jackets' woeful season.

"The ego side of me is like 'Yeah, we had a 2-14 record in conference and had an early exit in the (ACC) tournament,"' said the 6-foot-9 sophomore. "You kind of want to get that NCAA tournament run, but there's another part of me that wants to test the waters."

Lawal has until June 15 to remove his name from the draft.

"I believe I'm talented enough to play professional ball," Lawal said, adding that he plans to "go through the interview and workout process and see where I might fit in."

Lawal scored 15.1 points per game and led the Yellow Jackets with 9.5 rebounds per game, the second-highest average in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said he supports Lawal's decision, advising him to gather as much feedback as possible.

"He needs to the get all the information to see where his game is at right now," Hewitt said. "At this point, he's got to be all in about this process."

Lawal said his father thinks he needs to improve on his footwork, midrange jumper, free throw shooting and add on more bulk to his 233-pound frame.

"He's a very straightforward guy," Lawal said of his father, who is a real estate agent. "But in telling me how he feels, he told me that he'll support me either way."

If Lawal decides to return to Georgia Tech, he says the combination of him and top recruit Derrick Favors would make a tough tandem for opponents in the frontcourt.

"Everything I take from this decision to see how I stake up will be beneficial," he said. "I've got nothing to lose from this situation."
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