Bass still undecided
Brandon Bass will make his decision known Friday on whether or not he will declare for the NBA draft and forfeit his final two seasons of eligibility.
Tuesday he was leaning toward declaring and ending his LSU career. But that could change by Friday, a day before the NBA deadline to declare for the draft.
"It's the toughest decision of my life," Bass said Tuesday afternoon.
"I don't know," said Bass, who was the SEC player of the year after his sophomore year. But since Bass declared for the draft after his freshman year he would be ineligible to play as a junior if he were to declare a second time. The NCAA allows players only one chance to test the NBA draft process.
"I could go back to college and be really successful for one more year," Bass said. "But I'm hoping to get a commitment sooner than later."
Bass is looking for a first-round commitment. He said his godfather, Terry Reado, has been talking to the NBA to gauge the interest. Reado said Tuesday that he called eight NBA player personnel directors and was told Bass would fall somewhere between 20-36. That's the latter part of the first round to the top of the second round.
"Brandon wants to come out and it's more than likely that he'll come out," Reado said. "He's already projected to be a first-team All-American and that helps in the decision process, also. He's got to go over a few things in the next few days. Whatever he decides we'll support."
Bass said he worked out for 11 teams last year and played in Chicago at the pre-draft camp before withdrawing from the draft. LSU coach John Brady hasn't pushed Bass, but the longer this was delayed, the more likely it appeared Bass would return to school. He never withdrew from school, continued to work out with the team and was showing leadership skills in workouts. The two have been together at awards banquets as Bass cleaned up after a stellar sophomore season in which he averaged a team-high 17.3 points and 9.1 boards to lead the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament. The sixth-seeded Tigers lost to No. 11 UAB in the first round, finishing 20-10, 12-4 in the SEC West.
If Bass were to return he would be one of the top forwards in the country. The 6-8 Bass would team with rising 6-9 sophomore Glen Davis and incoming freshman Tasmin Mitchell to form one of the most formidable frontlines in the country. Guards Tack Minor and Darrel Mitchell are also back. The Tigers would likely be the SEC West favorite and a co-favorite with Kentucky to win the SEC overall title as well as possibly being a top 15 preseason team.
"All of that plays a role into what I'm thinking," Bass said.
So, why did he wait so long?
"I wanted to see who was going to enter the draft before I put my name in," said Bass, who added that he has been talking to Stu Jackson of the NBA to see where he stands. "Stu Jackson told me that he wouldn't know until everybody puts their name in after the 14th but that's too late for me to wait to make my decision. So, he can't really give me too much."
Bass is the last big-name to make a decision, although Arizona junior Hassan Adams is still mum on whether he will declare. There still could be others who could declare. The NBA releases the list next week once it checks to see the names on the list are legitimate.
Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.