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Former 5-Star Recruit Darius Garland Leaving Vanderbilt To Prepare For NBA

Two basketballs ahead of the Final Four.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 29: A detail of NCAA Official Wilson basketballs are seen racked up on the court prior to Oregon playing against Louisville during the Midwest Region Semifinal round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

On Tuesday night, Vanderbilt point guard Darius Leonard announced his plans to withdraw from the University of Vanderbilt and prepare for the NBA draft. Leonard suffered a season-ending injury during the early part of the season and revealed he won't be back for the Commodores next season.

Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew announced near the end of November that Garland, a five-star prospect and the No. 2 point guard in the 2018 cycle, will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

"I would really like to thank Coach Bryce Drew who is not just an awesome coach but a GREAT person and the entire basketball staff I thank my teammates and Commodore fans for a tremendous opportunity and most valuable experience.

After considerable deliberation with my family and medical staff, I am withdrawing from Vanderbilt this semester to prepare for the NBA draft," Garland said in a statement.

He was always considered a one-and-done prospect so his decision isn't surprising. Garland was projected as a lottery pick before the injury and should be one of the first names off the board if he can get healthy.

Before getting injured, Garland was averaging 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest - although he played in just five games during his freshman campaign.