Vandy's Darius Garland to begin preparing for draft after injury

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland says he's leaving for the NBA draft after a knee injury ended his freshman season in November.

Garland, who is projected as the No. 7 overall pick in ESPN NBA draft insider Jonathan Givony's latest mock draft, announced his decision Tuesday to withdraw and start focusing on preparing for the draft on Twitter.

He says the knee injury that robbed him of his freshman season took an emotional toll on himself, family and teammates. Garland says he discussed his options with Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew and his family and feels passing up the rest of his eligibility to focus on the NBA draft is the "right move at the right time."

A 6-foot-2 freshman, Garland was the nation's No. 14 overall prospect in his high school class, according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports. Garland and freshman Simi Shittu were the first two McDonald's All Americans ever to sign with Vanderbilt.

Garland was averaging 16.2 points over five games for Vanderbilt when he hurt his knee in a loss to Kent State and had season-ending surgery.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.