AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ D.J. Augustin is declaring for the NBA draft, and Texas teammate A.J. Abrams is headed with him.
The Longhorns lost their All-America point guard Wednesday when Augustin announced he would skip his final two seasons at Texas and enter the NBA draft, where he is widely considered a first-round pick.
"I have dreamed of playing in the NBA since I was a little boy, and I am ready to start living this dream," Augustin said.
Augustin, who averaged 19.2 points and 5.8 assists as a sophomore, has not hired an agent. That leaves him the option of changing his mind before the June 26 draft, though there is no indication that he would do so.
Abrams, a junior, also declared himself eligible Wednesday for the draft. But the 5-foot-11 guard, who has also not hired an agent, was less committal in his announcement.
"Right now, I have the opportunity to test the waters to see where I stand," Abrams said. "If I'm comfortable with where I feel I'll be drafted, I'll stay in the draft. If not, I'll be back for my senior year."
Texas was likely to garner serious consideration as a preseason No. 1 next year had both Augustin and Abrams returned, thereby leaving the Longhorns starting lineup intact. Now, the Longhorns are faced with replacing their backcourt and top two scorers.
The Longhorns won a school-record 31 games, a share of the Big 12 regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA regional finals before losing to Memphis.
Augustin won the Bob Cousy Award as college basketball's top point guard. Abrams averaged 16.5 points a game and led Texas in 3-pointers with 118 last season.
Augustin joins an impressive lineup of former Longhorns who departed early for the NBA in recent years: T.J. Ford, Daniel Gibson, LaMarcus Aldridge, P.J. Tucker and Kevin Durant all have bolted since 2003, depleting the program of its most talented players.
"We are so thankful for the opportunity to have been around an individual like D.J. for the last two years," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "As good as he is on the basketball court, D.J. is an even better person off the court."
Overshadowed by Durant as a freshman, Augustin evolved not only from a great passer but to a solid scorer as well during his sophomore season. But where Durant was the No. 2 pick overall last year, Augustin's status draft status is not quite as clear.
Augustin is projected as a first-round pick, but Memphis freshman Derrick Rose, who outplayed Augustin in the regional final in Houston, is considered the top point guard available.
Augustin's family lost their home in New Orleans in the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 but resettled in Houston. Unlike other athletes who may leave school because of a distaste for the academic work, Augustin was good in the classroom, earning academic All-American honors this season as an education major.
Players who have declared for the NBA draft without an agent have until June 16 to remove their name and return to school.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.