O'Bryant close to decision about NBA draft

Johnny O’Bryant III is nearing a decision.

LSU’s junior forward will likely reveal Tuesday whether he will be back for his senior season, but was still mulling whether to put his name into the pool for the NBA draft, multiple sources with knowledge of the process said Monday.

Attempts to reach coach Johnny Jones were unsuccessful, but he will address the media at 2 p.m. Tuesday during his season wrapup press conference. The school only said there will be a “player announcement” before Jones takes the podium.

The move comes on a faster timetable than O’Bryant, who earned back-to-back All-Southeastern Conference honors, used last season. O’Bryant, who averaged 15.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, is not waiting for another evaluation to come back from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee this time around.

O’Bryant said last month he didn’t want to leave Jones and his staff hanging, allowing them to address any recruiting needs based on his departure and to start his own preparations for workouts with NBA teams.

“I was a better player overall this year,” O’Bryant said March 12 before the SEC tournament. “I definitely feel comfortable overall and feel I’m ready.”

If O’Bryant decides to submit his name to the NBA, which is widely expected, only one week will have passed since LSU was knocked out of the NIT after an 80-67 second-round loss to SMU in the NIT.

The deadline to declare is April 27, although the NCAA set an earlier April 15 cutoff for players to decide whether they will withdraw from consideration.

It would appear that O’Bryant won’t undergo the same three-week wait he went through last season before annoucing he’d stick around. Ultimately, the the report back from league executives and personnel men was that they needed to see more consistency and conditioning from the former McDonald’s All-American.

This season, O’Bryant had eight double-doubles, bringing his career total to 25 and tying him for second among active SEC players.

Right now, most projections have O’Bryant as a late first-round or early second-round pick, and the Tigers seemingly addressed the possibility of losing their main offensive cog if he decides to forego his final season of eligibility.

The Tigers signed center Elbert Robinson, a four-star prospect and rated by Rivals.com as the No. 51 player in the Class of 2014, is set to arrive this summer as the headliner for LSU’s signing class.

Meanwhile, the freshman tandem of Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey are both waiting for their own evaluations from the committee, which is made up scouts, general managers and other front office personnel from 20 franchises, before announcing whether they’ll be back in Baton Rouge.