Guard returns to school after feedback, exposure

Updated: June 17, 2004, 12:37 PM ET
Associated Press

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Wyoming guard Jay Straight has withdrawn his name from the 2004 NBA draft and has returned to Laramie for summer school and to work on his game.

In addition to trying to help UW move back to the upper echelon of the Mountain West Conference, Straight hopes to add some muscle in the weight room, improve his passing skills and, in his words, "become a gym rat."

NBA scouts told him that if he does those things, he would have a chance to get selected in the first round of next year's draft, he said.

"I'm just really excited about that," Straight said. "Once I heard that, it was I-80 back to Laramie."

Straight said from the get-go that his master plan in declaring for the NBA draft was to get his name out to scouts. He attended camps and workouts that precede the draft.

Even if he didn't get an invitation to the main pre-draft camp, Straight believes he got the introduction to the professional basketball world that he was looking for with an impressive performance last week in front of some of the world's keenest basketball eyes.

"After that workout, I've been getting positive feedback from a lot of good people," Straight said.

Now, the key will be convincing those same scouts to attend UW games.

"Exactly, we need to get these people up here," Straight said. "They might come and see us on the road, but we don't always play our best on the road."

Wyoming coach Steve McClain said he's happy to see the team's top returning scorer going through informal workouts with the rest of the squad.

"We've said all along that he'd come back," said McClain, who Straight credited as being "so supportive" during the process. "I know NBA people will be up here a lot more next year to watch him play."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press