Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekend News and Notes

Although he hinted at it immediately after North Carolina won the national championship, the university made it official on Sunday: freshman forward Ed Davis will return for his sophomore season. "I love being a student at Carolina and playing with my teammates for Coach [Roy] Williams,'' Davis said in a statement. “I’d like to play in the NBA someday, but my family and I don’t think I’m ready to take that step. I’m glad this decision is behind me so I can focus on the rest of the school year and get ready to be a better player next season.” The 6-10 Davis is a projected lottery pick and averaged 6.7 points and 6.6 rebounds off the bench this year.

According to, Notre Dame junior forward
Luke Harangody is planning on testing the NBA Draft waters. He will not hire an agent, but will likely stay in the draft if he feels that he will be drafted, even in the second round.

As first reported by the Tulsa World, Tulsa junior center
Jerome Jordan has decided to return to the Golden Hurricane for his senior season. “It’s a burden off my shoulders a little bit,” Jordan said. “I think I was ready [for the NBA Draft], but still have things I need to work on to become better. I didn’t see the rush of having to go this year.” With Jordan’s return and the questions at Memphis, Tulsa could move to the top of the Conference-USA pecking order next season. He averaged 13.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game last season.

Although new coach Sean Miller will have his hands full in his first season at Arizona, he will still have talent. Six-foot-10 center
Kyryl Natayazhko has committed to the Wildcats for next season. He was the top-rated uncommitted big man in the senior class. "I've known Coach Miller and Whitford longer than any other coaches," Natayazhko said. "The decision I made was based on the relationship between me and the coaches. I believe they will help me get better and a person and a player." Natayazhko is ranked No. 68 by and No. 75 by; he chose the Wildcats over Arizona State and Pittsburgh.

Despite reports saying that he has decided to test the NBA Draft waters, Hawai’i junior swingman
Roderick Flemings is still undecided as to whether to enter his name into the draft pool. "He said he's thinking about putting his name in the draft, but he still wants to talk it over a little more with his family," head coach Bob Nash said. "At this point, I don't know what the decision will be. I'm sure we'll talk more after he talks things over with his family." The 6-7 Flemings averaged 16.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season.

With the premature losses of Daniel Hackett and DeMar DeRozan, as well as the possible early departure of Taj Gibson, USC will have a completely different look next season. However, are all the defections finished for the offseason? Apparently not.
Tim Floyd said Saturday that two more players might decide to leave as well. "We've probably got another couple guys [who could leave]," Floyd said. "Something may happen." He did give any indication who the players were, but did say Dwight Lewis was not one of them. Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News speculates three possibilities: Guards Marcus Simmons and Donte Smith, and forward Kasey Cunningham.

Minnesota junior guards
Kevin Payton and Travis Busch will not return to the Golden Gophers next season, the school announced Friday. “We are grateful for what Travis and Kevin brought to the University of Minnesota during their time on campus,” head coach Tubby Smith said. “We are proud that both will leave the university with a degree and wish them the best of luck in their life after college.” Both players are seniors academically and are scheduled to graduate this spring. Payton played in just nine games this past season, while Busch averaged 3.7 points per game.

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