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Any hope Jordan Poole would return to Michigan for his junior season came to an end on Tuesday.

The program announced Poole plans to keep his name in the NBA Draft and will forgo his final two seasons of eligibility to pursue a professional career.

“First and foremost, I need to thank God for putting me in the position to walk along the right path,” Poole said in a statement. “There has been much discussion, but after weighing all my options and having many positive discussions, my family and I, along with the help of Coach (John) Beilein and the rest of the coaching staff, believe now is the right time for me to begin my professional basketball career.

“It has been a dream of mine to play in the NBA. I feel I am ready to go after that dream.”

Poole, who was last year's NCAA Tournament hero for his buzzer-beater against Houston, ranked second on the team in scoring this past season at 12.8 points per game. He also shot 36.9 percent from 3-point range and made a team-high 75 3-pointers in his first year as a full-time starter.

More: NBA draft experts break down UM's Brazdeikis, Matthews, Poole

Poole (6-foot-5, 195 pounds) is projected to be a late second-round pick (No. 51 overall) by Sports Illustrated, but he’s not listed in ESPN’s or NBADraft.net’s most recent two-round mock drafts.

Poole also is ranked No. 55 in Sports Illustrated’s top-100 draft prospects and No. 68 in ESPN’s top 100 list.

“This is a life-changing decision. However, I am excited and ready to take on the challenge,” Poole said. “I will still need and ask for your support throughout this process.”

The writing was on the wall when it was discovered on Monday that Poole had recently created an account on Cameo.com and was soliciting fans to pay a fee for personalized video shoutouts. Per NCAA rules, college athletes aren't allowed to make money off their likeness.

Poole joins Charles Matthews as a departing member of a 30-win Michigan team that reached the Sweet 16, and his exit opens up a scholarship for 2019-20.

With Poole’s and Matthews’ decisions made, the Wolverines are awaiting word from freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis, who has until the May 29 deadline to make his future plans known.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins

 

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