LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas coach Stan Heath said Thursday that
recruit Al Jefferson hasn't decided yet whether to come to school
or stay in the NBA draft.
Arkansas officials say he could do both things.
The 6-foot-9 power forward's deadline was Thursday to inform the
NBA if he was withdrawing his name from the draft. But Arkansas
officials say Jefferson could keep his name in the draft and still
come to school as long he doesn't sign with an agent or the team
that selects him.
"Al has not made a decision. He is meeting with his family in
hopes of making a decision today," Heath said. "As soon as we
have an answer, we can pass that on to our fans, but right now we
are encouraged by the fact that he still has a lot of interest in
Jefferson entered his name for the draft but since he hasn't
signed with an agent he may still play in college.
Jefferson was Heath's top signee for Arkansas during the early
signing period. Ceroy Jefferson, an uncle, said Jefferson was going
to make his decision Wednesday night during a family meeting.
Jefferson averaged 42.6 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks
during his senior season at Prentiss.
He is the third Mississippi high school player to attempt to go
from the preps to the pros, joining Jonathan Bender of Picayune in
1999 and Travis Outlaw of Starkville last year.
Several mock drafts have Jefferson as a mid-first-round
Other Arkansas signees for the upcoming season include center
Stephen Hill of Branson, Mo., forward Charles Thomas of Jackson,
Miss., forward Darian Townes of Alexandria, Va., and point guard
Dontell Jefferson, a transfer from Atlanta Metropolitan College.