Monday, April 20, 2009
Curry still mulling his options
Stephen Curry played golf with his dad, Dell, on Saturday. On Sunday, he was playing pickup basketball with members of the Davidson basketball team and played softball on campus.
And, despite Internet reports Monday morning that Curry has decided to declare for the NBA draft, neither his father nor his coach, Bob McKillop, has any idea what Curry will do this week.
The deadline to declare is Sunday. If Curry, who averaged a nation-leading 28.6 ppg last season (along with 5.6 apg), were to declare, he would stay in the draft and not "test the waters," according to his father. He is likely a lock for the lottery.
"We've left him alone for a while,'' Dell Curry said Monday afternoon about Stephen's impending choice. "I'm confident he'll work it out. He's in good spirits. He's at a place he really loves. Whether he stays or goes, money and records won't have any bearing on the decision. He knows he can't make a wrong decision.''
Dell Curry, a former NBA guard, said he told his son that he took out an insurance policy on him in case he decides to go back to school for his senior season.
"He'll make the right decision for him,'' Dell said. "He doesn't have to do it for money. He's in a good position.''
As Fran Fraschilla pointed out this morning on this site, Curry really can't lose with his decision. He is likely a lottery pick this season and next. If he returns, the Wildcats will be the favorite again in the Southern Conference and, according to McKillop, should be better because everyone will be used to playing the adjusted roles they had this past season after the departure of Jason Richards.
The Wildcats (27-8, 18-2 Southern Conference) lost in the Southern Conference semifinals to the College of Charleston, missed the NCAA tournament and ended the season with an NIT second-round loss at Saint Mary's. Davidson does lose forward Andrew Lovedale but has a replacement in the oft-injured Frank Ben-Eze. Also gone is Max Paulhus Gosselin, but a more experienced Brendan McKillop helps, as well as more game time from Will Archambault, Bryant Barr and Steve Rossiter. The Wildcats are also high on an incoming class led by center Jake Cohen, ranked as the No. 36 center in the class by ESPN services, and guards J.P. Kuhlman of Florida and Niko Cochran of Canada.
Davidson doesn't have a summer school that would allow Curry to finish his degree, which is something he very much wants to do, according to McKillop.
But Davidson is still holding off on finishing its schedule for next season. McKillop said he's not going to move on some games until he knows whether Curry is returning.
• Patrick Patterson was the last top-10 player to hold multiple schools hostage this late into recruiting. Patterson did two years ago when he had Kentucky, Florida and Duke waiting on his decision. Patterson's decision to go with UK affected how Florida and Duke would be in the post the ensuing season. John Wall can have a similar effect this spring. The top point guard in the class of 2009 out of Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., has everyone guessing.
Memphis was a favorite when John Calipari was the coach. Kentucky certainly is one of the favorites now that Calipari has moved to Lexington. The Wildcats are also one of two finalists (with Kansas) for Xavier Henry, who was once committed to Memphis.
Calipari met with Wall and his representatives in Portland after the Nike Hoop Summit soon after the Final Four. But you can never dismiss Duke, North Carolina (even with the comments from at least one rep of Wall's), NC State, Baylor, Miami or Florida. Wall could wait until mid-June if he wanted, to see who returns to college after the NBA draft withdrawal deadline. All of these schools would gladly wait for him, although they may try to get a point guard in the interim in case. Kentucky desperately needs one for next season.
At least one coach said that style and system do matter and that Wall needs to ensure he makes the right choice for his one season in college.
• Meanwhile, Calipari needs players in case Jodie Meeks and Patterson stay in the NBA draft. The Kentucky staff is out looking at 2009 players in case the roster is diluted. Right now the roster has the maximum 13 scholarship players for 2009-10, but that includes Meeks, Patterson and the three signees, DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton and Jon Hood. The latter two signed under former coach Billy Gillispie and technically could still ask out of a national letter of intent. Hood has been quoted that he is going to stay. Orton has shown no indication that he wants out, either. Cousins committed to Memphis under Calipari and followed him to Kentucky. Jared Carter, a senior, is gone, as well as junior Michael Porter, who is graduating early and didn't want to play anymore.
• Calipari said he won't make any major scheduling moves until he knows more about his roster. He did say he's likely to stay in a tournament in Cancun, Mexico. Kentucky is already set to host North Carolina and Louisville and will play at Indiana.