Projected as high as eight, WVU's Alexander will stay in draft

Updated: June 15, 2008, 11:37 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

West Virginia junior forward Joe Alexander will remain in the NBA draft and not return to the Mountaineers, Alexander told ESPN.com in a text message Sunday afternoon.

The university issued a release Sunday night, as well.

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Alexander said that he received positive feedback from a number of teams, sought advice from coach Bob Huggins and his father, and said "the time is right'' to launch his pro career.

Projected to be taken potentially as high as No. 8 by Milwaukee, Alexander had a solid workout for the Bucks. He also worked out for New York (which picks sixth), Charlotte (9th), Phoenix (15th) and worked out with Golden State (14th) Sunday. He said he would be off to Portland (13th) on Monday.

Alexander said he would sign with agent Doug Neustadt. Monday is the deadline for underclassmen to withdraw from the June 26 draft.

In a statement from the school, Huggins said "Joe went through the process in a systematic and professional manner by exploring the situation and leaving open his option to come back. I've said all along that Joe has 100 percent support from the Mountaineer basketball family.''

Alexander led the Mountaineers in scoring average (16.9 points) and rebounding (6.4). West Virginia reached the Sweet 16 with a 26-11 record.

Alexander was one of 15 players invited to the physical-only portion of the Orlando pre-draft camp in late May.

Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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