PROVO BYU forward/center Trent Plaisted announced Friday that he has decided to fully commit to the 2008 NBA Draft and sign with an agent.
Including a redshirt season, Plaisted has been at BYU four years and is nearing completion of his bachelor's degree in economics. By hiring an agent, he will forgo the option to return for a fifth season of college eligibility.
"I have decided to hire Mark Bartelstein with Priority Sports as my agent and begin a professional career at this time," Plaisted said. "Obviously, getting my degree is very important to me, and I've made plans to complete the few remaining requirements. I really enjoyed playing at BYU and appreciate all that Coach Rose and the coaching staff have done for me. I know they will continue to be very successful."
Plaisted initially declared for this year's NBA Draft on April 10 without hiring an agent.
"Trent has decided he wants to begin his professional career, and he feels signing with an agent gives him the best opportunity to do that," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We wish Trent the very best as he pursues his professional career and appreciate what he has done for our program. He has been a big part of our success over the past three seasons. His departure creates opportunities for other players, and we expect them to respond very well."
Plaisted averaged 15.6 points and a team-leading 7.7 rebounds per game as a junior this past season, including 20.6 points and 12.3 rebounds against top-10 competition. He scored 21 points with 12 rebounds in a win over No. 6 Louisville, helped BYU battle No. 1 North Carolina down to the wire with 24 points and 17 rebounds, and totaled 17 points and eight boards in another close setback against No. 9 Michigan State.
A 6-foot-11, 245-pound native of San Antonio, Texas, Plaisted was a three-time All-Mountain West Conference player who earned first-team honors this past season. He helped the Cougars win their second- straight outright MWC regular-season title and earn their second- consecutive NCAA Tournament invitation. The Cougars appeared in the top-25 rankings for eight weeks and finished the year with a 27-8 record, the second-most wins in school history.
A left-hander known for his athleticism and ability to run the floor, Plaisted was also the MWC Freshman of the Year and a Scout.com Freshman All-America Second Team selection in 2006. He received USBWA All-District honors in 2006 and 2008 while also garnering all- district accolades from the NABC in 2008.
Plaisted finishes his BYU career with 1,372 points (13.3 ppg) to rank 14th on the Cougars' all-time scoring list while adding 686 rebounds (6.7 rpg) and 123 assists (1.2 apg).
Bartlestein's company, Priority Sports, represents 38 NBA players and Bartelstein is ranked as the No. 2 agent by Hoopshype.com.
Priority Sports has signed players to a billion dollars in contracts the last three years. These include Mo Williams of the Bucks, a $52 million, six-year pact; an $18 million, 3-year contract by Mikki Moore of the Kings and a $15 million, four-year deal for former Jazzman DeShawn Stevenson with the Wizards.
Priority Sports also has a good track record of placing players in Europe, Asia and Australia. Some of the foreign market players they've been able to bring back to NBA teams includes Andre Brown with Memphis from Serbia, Maceo Baston of the Raptors with Isreal and Bucks' Charlie Bell from Spain.
Bartelstein represented one of Plaisted's MWC friends, CSU's Jason Smith, who ended up with the 76ers after being taken No. 20 in 2007.
Bartelstein's company has represented 20 first-round picks and has Brad Miller, Antoine Walker and Scot Pollard under contract.Plaisted currently is working out with professional trainers in California.