This was expected, as Happ told reporters after Wisconsin’s final game of the season—a 63–60 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament on March 3—that he would test the professional basketball waters.
Tuesday’s declaration allows him to attend the NBA Combine from May 16–20 in Chicago if he receives an invitation. He can withdraw his entry by May 30th to return to Wisconsin, which is possible because he has not hired an agent.
“Ethan and I have talked multiple times about his future and our coaching staff fully supports his decision to explore the NBA Draft,” Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said in a release from UW on Tuesday. “This is a great opportunity for him to gather information directly from the source, NBA personnel. The underclassmen rule allows Ethan and others to participate in workouts with teams and potentially the NBA combine. This experience will be invaluable for him and will ultimately make him a better player.”
Back in early March, Happ appeared to make it clear that he would come back for his redshirt senior campaign if he was not a first-round projection, while also noting he would not consider the NBA’s G-League.
Happ led the Badgers last season in scoring (17.9 points per game), rebounding (8.0 rebounds), assists (3.7), steals (49 overall), and blocks (35 overall). He also claimed first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and was named a 2018 NABC second-team All-District selection.
[Update May 30th: We inserted the correct date that Happ could return to Wisconsin without using his eligibility, as the date originally mentioned were for NBA rules, not the NCAA rules.]