Jack won't sign with agent

Updated: May 5, 2005, 3:16 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech point guard Jarrett Jack entered his name in the NBA draft Thursday, but he won't hire an agent and is still torn about whether to return for his senior season with the Yellow Jackets.

Jack's decision will allow him to work out for NBA teams, giving himself a better idea of where he would be picked in the June 28 draft. Most prognosticators believe he will go in the latter half of the first round.

Jack said it's "50-50" on whether he will enter the pros or play another year at Georgia Tech. He could graduate next spring if he returns to school, and he's promised his mother that he will get his degree no matter what.

"I'm surprised that he's as torn as he is," coach Paul Hewitt said. "I thought it was a foregone conclusion" he would go to the NBA.

The 6-foot-3 Jack was the top scorer (15.5 points a game) on a team that reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. As a sophomore, he starred in Georgia Tech's improbable run to the national championship game.

Jack has spent countless hours working on his shot, which showed last year when he led the Yellow Jackets in 3-point shooting (44 percent). He's a strong, physical player who can muscle up defensively or help out on the boards. But there are questions about his quickness.

Also, there's a glut of point guards in the draft, including fellow Atlantic Coast Conference players Raymond Felton of North Carolina and Chris Paul of Wake Forest. That could push Jack lower in the draft.

"I'm not leaning one way or the other," he said. "It's something I've thought long and hard about. When I make my decision, I want it to be 100 percent."

Hewitt began planning in January for Jack's departure, figuring there was no way his star guard would be back for a fourth season. But Jack asked to meet with his coach after the season, and they got together about three weeks ago at a pizza restaurant near campus.

"He said he was not sure what he wanted to do," Hewitt recalled. "I was like, 'What?' Are you kidding me?' "

After hearing Jack out, the coach advised him to at least enter his name in the draft, giving himself a chance to talk with NBA teams before he makes a final decision.

"He loves being in college," Hewitt said. "He really loves it."

Jack has until June 21 -- a week before the draft -- to withdraw his name if he decides to come back to Georgia Tech.

"He wants everything," Hewitt quipped. "He wants to enjoy his senior year. He wants to get drafted No. 1 in the draft."

Jack's mother, Louise, traveled from Maryland to attend her son's announcement at the school's campus arena. She praised Hewitt for advising Jarrett to give the NBA a look.

"Knowing how Jarrett feels about him, Coach Hewitt easily could have swayed him to come back to school," Louise Jack said. "But he's trying to do what's best for his players. That took a lot of the pressure off."

If Jack leaves, Georgia Tech would have to replace its top five scorers from last season. The Yellow Jackets also lost seniors B.J. Elder, Will Bynum, Luke Schenscher and Isma'il Muhammad, along with defensive specialist Anthony McHenry.

Zam Fredrick, who played sparingly as a freshman, has apparently reconsidered his decision to transfer and would likely be first in line to replace Jack at the point.

The Yellow Jackets also signed 6-1 guard Austin Jackson of Denton, Texas.

"I would feel a lot better if [Jack] comes back. Let's not kid ourselves," Hewitt said. "But we'll be good next year either way."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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