Sun Devils star torn despite father's comments

Updated: June 7, 2005, 9:27 PM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Torn between education and the big money of the NBA, Ike Diogu plans to use every possible minute before choosing.

The Arizona State star, last season's Pac-10 player of the year, said Tuesday he wouldn't announce his decision until June 21. That is the deadline for college players who have declared for the June 28 draft to withdraw if they haven't hired an agent.

"I'm just gathering up all the information that I can," Diogu said at a news conference. "Coach [Rob] Evans is doing his part, and he tells me what he hears, and we'll just go from there."

Evans said Diogu, a heavily recruited prep player in his native Texas, was following the same thoughtful process that he used in selecting the Sun Devils.

"I'm going to give him information," Evans said. "He'll decipher the information, and he'll tell me and you guys what he's going to do at the proper time. I think the big thing is he's got a process -- as he's always had -- of making decisions, and he'll follow through on that process.

"He doesn't make snap decisions. Never has."

Diogu said his feelings are split evenly between beginning his professional career and staying for his senior year at a school, and with teammates, he likes.

The deciding factor could be knowing for sure that he'd go high in the first round. But Diogu said he has heard his name is all over various draft boards.

A 6-foot-8 forward with an 88-inch arm spread, Diogu has worked out for Denver, Houston, Seattle and Golden State. He will attend one of the last NBA draft camps starting Friday in Chicago and interview with teams, but not work out. After that, he plans separate auditions with New Jersey, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Toronto.

"I'm not really concerned with the team. I guess it would have to be [draft] placement," he said.

Edward Diogu, the athlete's father, told a Phoenix-area newspaper on Monday that his son had made up his mind to play in the NBA this year.

Diogu said he spoke with his father later Monday night and cleared up the misunderstanding.

"We got everything out in the open, and we're on the same page," he said.

Diogu's parents are educators, and throughout the news conference he showed signs of his reluctance to leave college without a degree. He also said he would like to help improve the Sun Devils, whose 18-13 record only got them an NIT bid.

"I definitely feel that we're going to be a tournament team next year," he said.

Diogu, who announced on March 28 that he was making himself available to the draft, led the Pac-10 in scoring (22.6) and rebounding (9.8) last season, earning second-team All-America honors.

He had 15 double-doubles and six 30-point games last season and has scored in double figures in all 91 of his college games. He set the Pac-10 record for free throws made in 2003-04 with 243 and then elevated the record with 248 last season.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press