Badgers point guard will not hire agent

Updated: May 5, 2004, 4:16 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin point guard Devin Harris declared himself eligible for the NBA draft Wednesday but won't sign with an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to the Badgers for his senior season.

Harris, the Big Ten's player of the year, wants to see how high he would go in the draft. He said he made the decision "about 4 o'clock this morning."

Devin Harris
Whether he returns to Wisconsin or enters the draft, Devin Harris appears to be in a win-win situation.

"I've got a lot of emotions running through me right now," Harris said. "I guess the most is just relieved that I finally made a statement, but scared what the future holds."

Harris might participate in the NBA's pre-draft camp in Chicago to get a better feel for his standing in the scouts' eyes. That's what Jameer Nelson did. He returned to Saint Joseph's for his senior year and led the Hawks to a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Harris will have to make up his mind by June 17, a week before the NBA draft.

"It's definitely a big hook and definitely one of the reasons I have not signed with an agent right now ... because we could do some great things back here," Harris said. "But then again, I've got to be selfish and look at what my situation is and see if this opportunity that I have is worth taking."

If he decides to return, Harris is expected to compete for national player of the year honors and the Badgers would be a contender to reach the Final Four. If he opts to remain ni the draft, Harris is almost assured of falling no lower than the 10th pick on draft day and could go as high as No. 5.

"Lottery, yes, but depending on how high, I really don't know," he said. "Right now we're just going to say lottery.

This year, Harris would likely be drafted behind Duke signee Shaun Livingston and possibly Connecticut junior Ben Gordon. The 2005 high school class is not strong and might not yield a lottery pick, which would benefit Harris' draft status.

Harris, who scored a school-record 624 points this past season and averaged 19.5, knows he has to get stronger and work on his mid-range shot to be ready for the pros.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan would love to squeeze one last year out of him.

"Whatever he does next year, he'll do fine. Hopefully, it'll be here," Ryan told ESPN.com on Tuesday night. "This isn't easy. He's a tough young man, but he knows how much work he's put in all these years. If he does it one more year, he'll get a bigger return on his investment."

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's compliance department is investigating a charity basketball game in which Harris played to determine whether any NCAA rules were violated. The game is thought to have been played last month. NCAA rules allow for student-athletes to participate in charity events under certain guidelines.

If a violation is found to have occured, Harris likely would face a one-game suspension, a university official told ESPN.com.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.