04/14/05 — Wake's Paul entering NBA draft

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Wake's Paul entering NBA draft

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on April 14, 2005 2:00 PM

WINSTON-SALEM (AP) -- All-American point guard Chris Paul plans to give up his final two years of eligibility at Wake Forest and enter the NBA draft.

The school scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, when Paul was going to announce his decision.

"We expect him to announce that he's going to declare for the NBA draft," athletic department spokesman Dean Buchan said.

As a sophomore, Paul was the leading vote-getter on The Associated Press preseason All-America team, and he was named to the first team after the season. He averaged 15.3 points and 6.6 assists for the Demon Deacons (27-6), who set a school record for victories.

Wake Forest also was ranked No. 1 for two weeks early in the year, the first time that's happened.

But Paul's image was harmed somewhat by an incident in the final game of the season, when he intentionally punched North Carolina State's Julius Hodge in the groin. Paul was suspended for one game and Wake Forest lost to the Wolfpack in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

That loss likely cost the Deacons a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and they were upset in the second round by West Virginia.