PROVO Trent Plaisted is now among hundreds of college basketball players waiting to be prodded, poked, tested and judged as a potential professional basketball player. His agent believes he doesn't rank in the top 100 prospects but could be among the first 30 drafted in June.
It's official, from his own mouth, Plaisted is now a former BYU basketball player and done playing for a scholarship. By hiring agent Mark Bartelstein, he forfeits his senior year of eligibility.
"I have decided to hire Mark Bartelstein with Priority Sports as my agent and begin a professional career at this time," Plaisted said Friday.
Bartelstein is considered one of the top three agents in the country, and his interest in investing in Plaisted may bode well for the Cougar, who will finish No. 14 on BYU's all-time scoring list in just three years' playing time.
"I don't like to make projections on the draft," Bartelstein said, "but there is no doubt in my mind Trent is a first-round talent."
"It (making projections) doesn't always coincide with what happens in the draft, but I think he'll have a wonderful NBA career."
Bartelstein works out of Chicago and currently has 20 first-round picks under contract.
"We have a certain culture we look for in our clients and he fits that exactly. His work ethic, his energy level, how hard he plays, those are all qualities we see in him and he's at the top of the charts on all of them. He's the type of player we look for," said Bartelstein, who represents former MWC stars Jason Smith (CSU) and Danny Granger (New Mexico).
Plaisted is currently in Los Angeles working out with professional trainers. He will know if he is invited to NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando by next week, Bartelstein said.
"We anticipate he will be invited," said Bartelstein.
Plaisted, in an official release distributed by BYU, made it clear he has a priority of finishing his degree a few hours of work.
"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. Another Cougar junior, the MWC co-MVP Lee Cummard, also declared himself eligible for the draft but has not signed with 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 list while adding 686 rebounds (6.7 rpg) and 123 assists (1.2 apg).