Durant, an 18-year-old Texas freshman and The Associated Press Player of the Year, said Tuesday he's leaving the Longhorns to enter the NBA Draft.
"I enjoyed my year here at Texas," Durant said in a statement released before his news conference. "All the fans and everyone here at Texas made me feel right at home, considering I was so far from home. I will always be a Longhorn and never forget what the people of Texas have done for me."
After an All-American season in which he swept the major player of the year awards, few expected Durant to play another season in college.
Now the question is whether he'll be the first pick of the June 28 draft. Durant and Ohio State's freshman center Greg Oden - who has not yet said if he'll leave college - are considered the likely first two picks.
UCLA All-American Arron Afflalo is passing up his senior year to enter the NBA Draft.
The 21-year-old junior declared for the draft last year, but withdrew his name and returned to school after attending evaluation camps. A player who declares a second time isn't allowed to return to school.
And Kansas sophomore Julian Wright vowed all year that the 2006-07 season would not be his last as a Jayhawk. On Monday, he reversed his stance and announced that he's decided to enter the NBA Draft. NBA scouts and analysts are predicting that Wright will be among the top 15 players selected in the draft.
Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson, on the other hand, announced they will return to North Carolina next season instead of entering the draft early.
TEXAS A&M: Mark Turgeon was introduced as coach, five days after Billy Gillispie left for Kentucky.
Turgeon was 128-90 in seven seasons at Wichita State. He led the Shockers to three consecutive 20-plus win seasons from 2004-2006, culminating with a trip to Sweet 16 in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
HIRED: Kevin Willard was named the coach at Iona, and Mark Schmidt was hired as St. Bonaventure's coach.