Report: Harris didn't plan to enter draft

Updated: April 15, 2009, 1:37 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

There might be some crossed signals going on in the Syracuse Orange men's basketball program.

Last week, Syracuse released a statement announcing that Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris were making themselves eligible for the NBA draft.

Coach Jim Boeheim appears to believe Flynn, a sophomore 6-foot point guard who led the team with 17.4 points a game last season, is wavering on whether to leave school early. Flynn, however, told Syracuse.com that he was awaiting paperwork to sign with an agent, which would preclude him from returning to play with the Orange next season.

And Harris, a 6-5 junior forward, told the Syracuse Post-Standard on Monday that he had not planned on entering the draft early, and didn't even know the school had included him in the news release.

"I didn't know a thing about it," Harris told the newspaper. "I didn't do that. I don't have a clue who actually did it."

On Tuesday, Boeheim, who was in Chicago for a National Association of Basketball Coaches program, said that Flynn's status is "kind of up in the air."

"He's on the fence and is going to look real hard," Boeheim said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "The problem is you never know where you're going to go [in the NBA draft]."

The Post-Standard reported, however, that Flynn, who was the Big East tournament MVP and set the school record for minutes played in a season (1,418), had picked Leon Rose to be his agent and would be signing with him soon. Rose also is the agent for Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James.

Underclassmen can withdraw their names from the NBA draft by June 15 if they don't sign with an agent. The draft is June 25.

Harris, who averaged 12 points and 8.1 rebounds a game last season, said he found out from a friend that Syracuse had included his name among the Orange players leaving early for the draft.

Part of the problem might stem from the fact Harris and Boeheim have not spoken since March 27, after Syracuse lost to Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16.

Boeheim told the Post-Standard that he and his staff had been unsuccessful in their attempts to reach Harris, and the last time they discussed the draft, Harris mentioned he was intending to enter the draft early.

"He told me that the week before the Oklahoma game," Boeheim said, according to the Post-Standard. "It's been two weeks since then and he hasn't returned a phone call. We only released it because that's what he indicated to me."

Boeheim told the newspaper there was no intention of forcing out Harris. "If he's changed his mind, he doesn't have to put his name in," Boeheim said, according to the Post-Standard. "We don't know that they [Harris, Flynn and Devendorf] put their names in, only that they planned to. And as long as they don't sign with an agent, any of them can come back."

But it appears that because the door has been opened, Harris plans on going through.

"It's already out there so I might as well [enter the draft]," Harris told the Post-Standard. "I'll be back in Syracuse tomorrow [Tuesday]. I've missed some classes, but I don't want to drop out. I'll finish up and I'll be working out, too."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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