Reynolds declares for NBA draft
VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Scottie Reynolds knows no matter where his basketball career takes him, he'll always be a Villanova Wildcat.
He might just be one in his heart next season, instead of in uniform.
Reynolds, the Wildcats 6-foot-2 dynamo point guard, declared for the NBA draft on Tuesday, but said he will not hire an agent and could decide to return to the Wildcats for his senior season.
"If I really wanted to, I could be like, 'Oh, I'm coming back next week,' and I'd feel really good about that," Reynolds said. "Right now, I think the best choice, the best decision I can make for myself, is to go out there and do what I've been doing throughout my career."
Reynolds has never shied away from the tough decision. He came to Villanova only weeks after backing out of his commitment to Oklahoma, and always wanted the ball in his hands to shoot the big shot with the game on the line.
His confidence paid off when he made one of the biggest baskets in Villanova history. His half-court dash for the winning layup with 0.5 seconds left against Pittsburgh sent Villanova to the Final Four for the first time since 1985. The Wildcats were eliminated by eventual champion North Carolina in the national semifinal.
Reynolds is projected as a second-round pick by most mock draft boards, but he believes he can improve his position at NBA workouts.
"I'm taking this very, very seriously," Reynolds said. "I'm not just going there for the experience."
Reynolds, who has scored 1,620 points in three seasons at Villanova, could withdraw from the draft by June 15 and still retain his eligibility if he does not hire an agent. He is completing his classes so he can remain academically eligible. Reynolds said he still expects to graduate, no matter what.
Villanova coach Jay Wright, who was out recruiting on Tuesday, said in a statement that he supported Reynolds' decision.
"Scottie and I have decided that it would be smart for him to experience NBA workouts at this time," Wright said. "This will enable him to assess where he fits in the draft process this year and give him a better understanding of what it takes to play at that level."
Reynolds, a former Big East freshman of the year, has twice scored 40 or more points in a game.
He's asked former Villanova standout and current Minnesota Timberwolves guard Randy Foye, and Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers, for tips on how to attack the workouts and life in the NBA. He's working out as many as three times a day and was drenched in sweat when he discussed his decision at Villanova's practice facility.
If he returns, Reynolds will anchor a lineup that includes one of the top recruiting classes in basketball. Villanova did lose members of the winningest class in senior history, but is still expected to contend for a Big East title.
"I'm in a win-win situation," Reynolds said. "If I come back, it's definitely going to be a blessing. I'm going to embrace it tremendously and I know what kind of leader I have to be at Villanova."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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