Junior guard will not hire agent

Updated: April 30, 2004, 7:54 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Saint Joseph's guard Delonte West will declare for the NBA draft but won't sign with an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to the Hawks for his senior season.

West made the announcement at a Friday afternoon news conference. He has until June 17 to remove his name from consideration.

Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli told ESPN.com on Thursday that it was a "wise decision for Delonte" to see where he stood as a draft prospect. West told ESPN.com two weeks ago that he wanted to follow the same path as former teammate Jameer Nelson and test the process by going to the pre-draft camp in Chicago.

Nelson attended the camp a year ago and created a buzz, but he could not play his way into a first-round selection. As a result, he returned to Saint Joseph's and had a terrific season that cluminated in his being named consensus national player of the year. The Hawks were 27-0 in the regular season and reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

West would be a likely candidate to attend the Chicago draft camp. The NBA will send out invitations after the May 10 early-entry draft deadline passes.

"It's a natural progression," Martelli said. "But it will be interesting to see who the [NBA draft] committee decides to send to Chicago."

West averaged 18.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. The Hawks' second-leading scorer also was one of the toughest guards to defend in the Atlantic 10. The left-handed shooter has a tendency to make oft-balance shots as well as get to the basket whenever he has an opening.

West's game intrigues scouts enough that he enters the pre-draft camp with a chance to be a first-round pick. If he returns to Saint Joseph's, West would be a player of the year candidate and the preseason favorite to win A-10 player of the year honors, just as Nelson was.

Senior writer Andy Katz covers men's college basketball for ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com