Nevada guards will enter draft, won't hire agents
RENO, Nev. -- Nevada junior guards Marcelus Kemp and Ramon Sessions will enter the NBA draft in June, but without agents so they'll retain the option of returning to school next fall, coach Mark Fox said Thursday.
The two players have filed early-entry paperwork with the NBA and have until June 18 to decide whether to withdraw from the June 28 draft.
"I am supportive of Marcelus' and Ramon's desire to explore the NBA and gain the information necessary to make educated decisions," Fox said in a statement Thursday.
"It's not something that was a surprise. It's becoming a common thing for underclassmen to do. Most do test the waters to find out what the NBA thinks," he said.
Nevada senior Nick Fazekas, a second-team Associated Press All-American this year, followed a similar path a year ago as a junior and decided to return to the Wolf Pack for the 2006-07 season when he concluded there was no guarantee he would be a first-round pick.
"It's exactly like Nick's situation. If they are not guaranteed first-round picks, I recommend that they come back to school," Fox said.
"They've seen Nick go through the process and that will probably help them," he said. "They are two special kids... It's their dream and they are still going to school and doing what they're supposed to do."
Fazekas is expected to be a first-round pick in this year's draft after being considered a late first-round or more likely second-round pick a year ago. Only first-round picks are guaranteed contracts.
Kemp, a 6-foot-5 first-team all-Western Athletic Conference selection from Seattle, averaged 18.5 points per game last season. He hit 40.6 percent of his 3-point attempts as Nevada finished 29-5 -- the most victories in school history and the fourth straight year with 20-plus wins.
Sessions, a 6-foot-3 second-team all-league pick from Myrtle Beach, S.C., averaged 12.3 points and 4.7 assists. He was one of 17 finalists for the 2006-07 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.
School spokeswoman Rhonda Lundin said Thursday neither Kemp nor Sessions would be available for comment until next week.
Fox said the two players hope to be invited to the NBA Pre-Draft Camp on May 29 through June 4 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., which is the first time underclassmen can have contact with NBA teams. After that date, underclassmen can work out for teams at their own expense in order to maintain their collegiate eligibility.
"The NBA has given some feedback now and will give more," Fox said. "It's a very deep draft and there are only 30 guaranteed contracts. [I think] the only way to leave school is if you have a guaranteed contract."
Kemp is fourth on Nevada's career list with 157 three-pointers made and 10th in career scoring with 1,280 points. Sessions is second in Wolf Pack history with 478 career assists.
The Wolf Pack won their fourth straight WAC title this season and made their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, where they lost in the second round to Memphis.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press