Monday, June 18, 2007

June 18 News and Notes: Early-Entry Deadline Special

For the rest of the weekend news, click here.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Marquette sophomore guard Dominic James has announced that he will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to the Golden Eagles for this senior season. "I discussed it over with my family, and it's the best thing for me,” James said. “I had an assessment from the GMs and scouts and all that, but I feel like the most important assessment was the assessment of myself. I feel like another year of college, or maybe even two, will set me up for the future." Coach Tom Crean supported James’ decision. “He definitely trusted the process and allowed it to take its course,” he said. “He got the information throughout it that gave him the best chance to make the best possible decision." James said he is not disappointed that he did not get the reaction from NBA scouts and GMs that he wanted. "I don't look at it in a bad way,” he said. “I just look at it as a chance to get better. That's what my whole life has been, taking some type of adversity and turning it into a positive." James averaged 14.9 points and 4.9 assists this past season.

According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, Oklahoma State junior guard JamesOn Curry is planning on staying in the NBA Draft and not returning to the Cowboys for his senior season. Coach Sean Sutton said that Curry informed him that he would be staying in the draft and was hopeful that he would be selected in the second round. Sources have told ESPN.com that Curry is under the impression that he will be selected in the second round by Chicago; the Bulls have refuted those rumors. Curry is being advised to remain an amateur through the draft and not sign with an agent. If Curry were to go unselected, with no signed representation, then he could return to college. He averaged 17.3 points and 3.7 assists per game last season.

Nevada junior guard Ramon Sessions has decided to keep his name in the NBA Draft and not return to the Wolf Pack for his senior season. "After giving it a great deal of thought, I have decided to forgo my senior season," Sessions said. "I truly enjoyed my experience at the University of Nevada. Playing at Nevada has opened many doors for me, including this one, and it is now time for me to pursue my dream." Coach Mark Fox said that Sessions’ decision caught him by surprise. "I really didn't expect it,” he said. "He has been told by the NBA he'll be somewhere in the second round.” Sessions, who is projected as a second round pick in most mock drafts, averaged 12.3 points and 4.7 assists per game last season.

As expected, Ohio State freshman guards Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook are planning on signing with an agent, according to the
Columbus Dispatch. Both players are expected to sign with Mike Conley Sr., which would close their option to return to the Buckeyes for their sophomore seasons. Cook’s former coach, Al Powell, said that he has been hearing nothing but positives about Cook. "He's really impressed people," said Powell. "The closest I've had (a general manager) tell me he should go back to school is he'd make more money (next year) if he went back. But I haven't had a parade of people say he needs to go back to school." Conley Sr. is confident that his son will be drafted in the top-10. "He's doing really well," Conley Sr. said. "His stock is about as high as you can ever ask for in a college basketball player." Conley Jr. averaged 11.3 points and 6.1 assists per game last season, while Cook averaged 9.8 points per contest.

According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com and Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com, Nevada junior guard Marcelus Kemp is going to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to the Wolf Pack for his senior season. Head coach Mark Fox and a source close to the program both confirmed that Kemp was coming back to Reno. Kemp, who averaged 18.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season, is entering his sixth year of college in 2007-08.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle and a source close to the family, California junior center DeVon Hardin is expected to announce that he has signed with an agent and will keep his name in the NBA Draft rather than return to the Golden Bears for his senior season. His father, Michael, said that no decision has been made yet. "This whole situation is kind of fluid, so it's too soon to say," he said. "We're hearing good news, and we're getting some feedback that will be useful in making the decision, but there's no decision yet." Hardin has until Monday to withdraw his name from draft consideration. He is projected by most mock drafts to be drafted in the latter part of the first round. Hardin averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season over the first twelve games, before missing the last 22 contests with a stress fracture in his left foot.

Utah State junior guard Jaycee Carroll has decided to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to the Aggies for his senior season. "I have decided to return to Utah State for my senior season," Carroll said. "Coming back to school will give me the opportunity to continue to develop as a player and enhance my draft status for the next year.” He is looking forward to next season, both on and off the court. "I also want to finish my degree and help Utah State contend for a Western Athletic Conference championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament," Carroll said. Coach Stew Morrill is excited about the decision. "Jaycee returning for his senior year has been a strong possibility throughout this process and we are very pleased that he has reached this decision," Morrill said. "This experience has been both positive and informative for Jaycee. He will now be better prepared for his future basketball opportunities and at this point be able to concentrate on our upcoming season." Carroll averaged 21.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season.

According to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Mississippi State junior forward Charles Rhodes has not made up his mind yet regarding the NBA Draft and will wait until Monday’s deadline to make decision. “It’s going to come down to the last second,” he said. “I’ve been doing a lot of work preparing myself. We’ll just have to wait and see. I want to make sure it’s the right decision.” Despite the fact that he is not on any mock drafts currently, Rhodes is not worried. “I really don’t get into it,” he told The Clarion-Ledger. “It’s going to work out.” Rhodes averaged 13.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season.

According to the Denver Post, Colorado State junior center Jason Smith is still undecided on whether he will keep his name in the NBA Draft or withdraw and return to the Rams for his senior season. "We have to make a decision on if it's the best decision for me," Smith said. "If I'm the highest place I can go, if I can go first round, middle of the first round, then we'll see. I'm hearing from about 15-30, and that's really good. If I can go 15-20, 15-25, that's really good." Coach Tim Miles said he and the other players are not lobbying too hard for Smith’s return because they understand what is at stake. "They'd love to have him back," Miles said. "But they understand that if he can be one of those top 15, 20 picks, that's a pretty cool thing, too." Smith, whose stock is rising rapidly in most mock drafts, averaged 16.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game last season.

According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, George Washington junior guard Maureece Rice is expected to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to the Colonials for his senior season. "As far as I know, he's coming back," coach Karl Hobbs said. Rice, who does not appear in most mock drafts, averaged 15.8 points per game last season.

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