Telfair, other top prospects near decision

Updated: April 30, 2004, 10:29 AM ET
By Bill Hodge |

The nation's leading prep stars are scrambling to make their decisions on whether to play in college or enter the NBA Draft. The deadline for early entry is May 10.

Top 100 guard Sebastian Telfair of Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY., is expected to chose the draft, according to a source cited by Newsday, and a press conference has been set for May 5. He has reportedly signed with an agent and will sign a shoe endorsement contract. Telfair, who had signed with Louisville, has been spending two weeks in Greece with his brother, Jamel Thomas, who plays professionally for Apollon in Patra, Greece. If he enters the draft, Telfair is projected to be taken in the middle of the first round. He would be the shortest prep (6-0) and the first pure high school point guard ever drafted.

Guard/forward J.R. Smith of Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ., who signed with North Carolina; and forward/center Al Jefferson of Prentiss, Miss (Arkansas), have scheduled press conferences on May 3. Smith is expected to be drafted in the middle of the first round, while Jefferson is considered a late first round selection.

Center Randolph Morris of Fairburn-Landmark Christian School, Ga., will make a decision between Georgia Tech, Kentucky or the draft on May 6. He is a probable late first to second round pick.

Two other likely draft candidates, center Robert Swift of Bakersfield, Cal (USC Trojans) and guard Shaun Livingston of Peoria-Central, Ill (Duke), have not set announcements. Livingston would be taken in the top four to five picks in first round. Swift is listed as a probable late first round choice.

Forward Juan Palacios of Centereach-Our Savior New American, NY., is considering Louisville (expected), Baylor, Florida State or the NBA. He is considered a late first to second round selection.

Five preps have already chosen to enter the draft, including touted center/forward Dwight Howard of Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga (Uncommitted; top first or second pick of the draft); forward Josh Smith of Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Indiana; top eight to 10th in first round); center Jackie Butler of Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Tennessee; second round, if selected); forward Ivan Chiriaev of Oakville, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas (Pledged to Iowa State; six to 10th in first round); and forward/guard Dorell Wright of South Kent Prep, Conn (DePaul; late first to second round; may be waivering on his entry).

More Basketball News

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has voted to approve measures of academic reform that included a repeal of the controversial 5/8 rule limiting college basketball recruiting to no more than five recruits in a single class and no more than eight in any two-year period. With the rule rescinded, coaches can fill their 13-man rosters with the best eligible players who have yet to sign. A new system known as "incentives and disincentives," provides for colleges and universities who promote academic progress, player retention for all sports, rules compliance and higher graduation rates. Story.

Colorado has center/forward Lamont Arrington of Detroit-Osborn, Mich/Schoolcraft CC, Mich. He earlier had picked Houston.

Redshirt-freshman center/forward Aaron Spears of Chicago-Dunbar, Ill., plans to transfer from Illinois. Spears, who is considering Highland CC, Ill., played in 20 games last season.

Central Florida has forward Marcus Johnson of Romulus-Robichard, Mich/Schoolcraft CC, Mich., who was once headed for Texas A&M.

Creighton signed guard Nick Porter of Las Vegas-Desert Pines, Nev/Compton CC, Cal.

UC-Irvine gained guard Aaron Fitzgerald of Seattle-Kennedy, Wash/Portland State/Jacksonville CC, Tex.

Georgia Southern has signed guard Matt Scott of Evans-Lakeside, Ga., who averaged 27.8 points as a senior.

Coastal Carolina has guard Jack Leasure of Rochester-McQuaid Jesuit, NY; forward Noah Nichols of Upper Marlboro-McNamara, Md; and forward Chad Ferguson of North Las Vegas-Cheyenne, Nev/Laurinburg Prep, NC.

Tennessee-Martin signed guard Marcus Ford of Gary-Wirt, Ind/Southeastern Illinois CC, Ill.

New Hampshire gained forward Brandon Odom of Dorchester-Thayer Academy, Mass.

Forward Kevin Jolley of Cheverly, Md/Hutchinson CC, Kan., has chosen Quinnipiac.

Siena signed guard Marshall Taylor of Philadelphia-West Catholic, Pa.

Eastern Kentucky has guard Zack Ingles of Pasco-Hernando CC, Fla.

Iona signed guard Taquan Evans of Albany-LaSalle School, NY.

Manhattan signed forward Arturo Dubois of Harlem-Rice, NY.

Hartford added guard Brian Glowiak of New Britain, Conn; and forward Fred Kounkorgo of Fitchburg-Notre Dame Prep, Mass.

*Check Class 2004 lists for Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences. Ninety-five prospects on the early Class 2004 Top 100 have made Commitmen ts or Signed. List of remaining Top 100 Prospects.

2004 NBA Draft
(May 10-Early Entry Deadline; June 17-Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline; June 24-NBA Draft)
C/F Dwight Howard 6-10 Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga (Uncommitted). Has agent. Plans to apply to North Carolina as part-time student. Howard, who averaged 25 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocked shots as a senior, was selected as the Naismith Prep Basketball Player of the Year. Predicted: Top Two in first round.
F Josh Smith 6-8 Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Signed with Ind). Projected: Top three to 10 in first round.
C Jackie Butler 6-11 Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Signed with Tenn). Has agent. Projected: Second round, if selected.
F Ivan Chiriaev 7-1 Oakville, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas (Pledged to Iowa State). No agent. Projected: Lottery to middle first round.
F Dorell Wright 6-7 South Kent Prep, Conn (Signed with DePaul). No agent. Projected: Second Round.
Possible Entries (second round selections do not receive guaranteed contracts)
C Randolph Morris 6-11 Fairburn-Landmark Christian School, Ga (Uncommitted). Father says college. Georgia Tech or Kentucky are favorites. Draft: Late first to second round.
F Juan Palacios 6-8 Centereach-Our Savior New American, NY (Uncommitted). Draft: Late first to second round.
F Shawne Williams 6-8 Laurinburg Prep, NC (Signed with Memphis). Projected: Late first to second round.
C Robert Swift 6-11 Bakersfield, Cal (Signed with USC). Projected: Late first to second round.
F Glen Davis 6-8 Baton Rouge-University, La (Signed with LSU). Projected: Late first to second round.
G Sebastian Telfair 6-0 Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY (Signed with Louisville). Projected: Top 10 to 20 first round.
F Al Jefferson 6-10 Prentiss, Miss (Signed with Arkansas). Projected: Middle first to second round.
G/F J.R. Smith 6-6 Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ (Signed with NC). Projected: Late first to second round.
G Shaun Livingston 6-7 Peoria-Central, Ill (Signed with Duke). Projected: Top four to 10 in first round.
Will Not Enter Draft
F Rudy Gay 6-8 Severn-Archbishop Spalding, Md (Signed with Conn). Projected: Late first to second round.
F Marvin Williams 6-8 Bremerton, Wash (Signed with NC). Projected: Late first to second round.
F/C LaMarcus Aldridge 6-11 Seagoville, Tex (Signed with Texas). Projected: Late first to second round.

2004 McDonald's All American Game
J.R. Smith and Dwight Howard helped the East rout the West, 126-96, at the 27th McDonald's All American Basketball Boys Game in Oklahoma City, Okla. The John Wooden Award which is given to the most valuable player of the game was given to co-winners Smith and Howard. Smith led all scorers with 25 points, while Howard contributed 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Story, Rosters.

McDonald's Games/All-Star Games/NBA Drafts
Search for Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Nike Hoop Summit
The 2004 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Select team defeated World Select, 99-79, in the Hoops Summit game in San Antonio. Josh Smith led all scorers with 27 points, J.R. Smith added 17, while Rudy Gay and Al Jefferson had 14 and 13. Sebastian Telfair scored six. Luka Bogdanovic led the World team with 20 points. Churchill Odia and Juan Diego Palacios each scored 10. Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Jordan Capital Classic
Dwight Howard scored 18 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks to lead the Black team to a 107-96 victory over the White squad in the Jordan Capital Classic and was named the outstanding player. Malik Hairston led the Black team with 23 points, while Robert Vaden added 21. Dorell Wright led the White team with 24 points, while Al Jefferson added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Stories/games/rosters

Class 2004 Basketball Database
*Search lists of Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences
*Early list of Top 100 Prospects/Commitments/Signings/ Remaining Top 100 Prospects.
*More players projected to make an impact: Super Prospects.
*Top JC Prospects: Junior College List.
*Basketball Signing Periods: Early (Nov. 12-19) and Regular (Apr. 14-May 19).

*Indiana, Texas and Louisville lead the early 2004 Top Classes.

Class 2005 Basketball Database
*Search early lists of Prospects/Commitments

Basketball Commitments/Signings:
Class 2005: Database
Class 2004: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2003: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2002: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2001: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2000: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 1999: Database
Class 1998: Database/ Top Classes