Wyoming junior Justin James has decided to test the waters of the NBA, though he will have the option of returning to the Cowboys next season.

James submitted paperwork Monday for early entry, but isn’t hiring an agent, thus he could return to UW for the 2018-19 season.

In a release from the University of Wyoming, James said,

“This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, and I have to thank my coaches and teammates that helped put me in this situation. There is definitely a long road ahead of me, but this is the first step in the right direction, and I’m excited for the opportunity to show my talents to NBA scouts.”

The junior averaged 18.9 points, six rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season. He was selected First Team All-Mountain West and First Team All-District by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. James upped his scoring to 20.8 points per game during league games. James scored a career-best 33 points twice last season and scored 20 or more points 15 times. He shot 48 percent from the field and recorded six double-doubles.

Wyoming head coach Allen Edwards said in the release, “This is a tremendous opportunity for Justin and the program to be put in this situation. It shines a positive light on some of the things we are doing here. If he is not ready, the option of coming back and being a part of this team helps him long term in knowing what he needs to do to get to that level of play. Last year, Chandler Hutchison at Boise State went through the same process and knowing coach Leon Rice at Boise State and having his input on the process and the positives was a great asset in the decision. This whole process will benefit Justin long term and benefit the program.”

James will have to decide by May 30 whether to stay in or remove his name from the draft.

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