Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self confirmed on Sunday what Mario Chalmers has hinted at for a couple of weeks to media outlets while on his predraft workout circuit - Chalmers will forego his senior season at KU and keep his name in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Chalmers' entry in the draft means three Jayhawks will give up remaining eligibility and opt for this year's draft. He joins Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur.
"Mario informed us of his position to stay in the draft today," Self said. "Even though this was official, we anticipated this back in April when he declared without an agent. We are excited for Mario's draft prospects. From what we have gathered his stock has climbed. We wish Mario the very best and we will anxiously be waiting to see where all of our guys will be drafted."
Added Chalmers: "In my past five workouts, I have impressed the scouts and general managers, showing them my capabilities to have success at the next level. I have made the decision to move on and forego my senior season at Kansas."
Chalmers' spot in Kansas lore is secure after hitting a last-second three-point shot in the 2008 NCAA title game against Memphis which sent the contest into overtime. The eventual outcome was a 75-68 KU win and the Jayhawks' third NCAA crown.
That performance earned Chalmers Most Outstanding Player honors in the 2008 Final Four, capping a junior season in which he averaged 12.8 points per game. He also tied his KU single-season record for steals with 97. He finishes his KU career with the school's second-highest theft total.
"Being at Kansas has made me a better player and better person," Chalmers said. "I want to thank all the fans, the coaches and players who have helped me in my three years at KU. I will always be a Jayhawk and will come back and visit every chance I get."
Chalmers' official departure means Kansas loses eight scholarship players from a year ago.
"This has been part of Mario's dream, to play at the next level," Kansas director of basketball operations Ronnie Chalmers said. "He has accomplished his goals at Kansas. He wanted to come here and win a national championship and he did. His mother (Almarie) and I are happy to be able to see him live this dream."