Douglas still undecided on NBA draft

6/14/2005 - Auburn Tigers

Freshman guard Toney Douglas still isn't sure if he's withdrawing from the NBA draft, but Auburn's leading scorer is certain he won't be back with the Tigers.

The Douglas family asked for a full release from Auburn in case he withdraws from the draft, but Auburn put a condition on the release that he couldn't transfer to an SEC school.

"We'll have a hearing on that," Toney's father, Harry, told ESPN.com Tuesday afternoon by cell phone while driving away from the Auburn campus. The Douglas family -- mother, father and Toney -- met with the Auburn athletic administration, including head coach Jeff Lebo, Monday and Tuesday.

"Toney should be able to play wherever he chooses to but for some reason they don't want him to transfer in the SEC," Harry Douglas said. "He hasn't withdrawn from the draft since we've still got workouts to do."

Harry Douglas was outspoken at his son's announcement for the NBA draft, saying that Lebo hadn't used him properly and indicated that his son wanted to play the point. Regardless of position, Douglas was a scoring guard for the Tigers, leading them with 16.9 points a game in 35.6 minutes. He also averaged 5.3 rebounds and shot 42.4 percent overall, 37.3 percent on 3-pointers. Still, there were issues for the family on how he was being used since he was recruited by former coach Cliff Ellis and assistant Tracy Dildy. Dildy, by the way, is now an assistant at Ole Miss, a potential destination for Douglas within the SEC.

"It's hard when someone didn't recruit you and they have a different philosophy," Harry Douglas said. "If Toney had played the point 15-20 games then he might be higher on the [draft] board. Tracy did recruit him at Auburn but it's not about going to Ole Miss. It's about going to where Toney wants to go. My son had an opportunity to go when Cliff got fired but he stayed there and made a commitment when other schools were after him. We were disappointed they put a stipulation on his release. Toney couldn't have been a better kid to represent the university."

Lebo said in a release that Douglas was a good kid and said the previous season was a positive year. But, "unfortunately, there were some unrealistic demands and expectations placed upon Auburn basketball and the coaching staff. Due to the untimely nature of this decision, it will be extremely difficult to fill Toney's scholarship. I feel the program gave him every opportunity to achieve both his individual and team goals. We wish Toney the best of luck in his future endeavors."

The Tigers will now lose their top four scorers from last season, leaving rising sophomore guard Frank Tolbert (6.9 ppg) as the top returning scorer off a 14-17 (4-12 SEC West) team.

But what about the draft?

Douglas said his son will work out for Charlotte on Friday and Miami on Saturday and then make a decision. He said a scheduled workout with the Lakers in Los Angeles for Tuesday was canceled by the family.

"He's not going to withdraw his name yet," Douglas said. "This will go down to Tuesday. Toney had a lot of good workouts and a lot of GMs said good things and expressed to me that he's a pro and will play in the league. But some say he needs more seasoning as a point guard and want to see him run a team."

Harry Douglas said Toney also worked out for Memphis, Cleveland, New Orleans and Atlanta. Douglas said the family dipped into its 401K savings to pay for the travel and has the receipts to prove it if the NCAA asks if he withdraws. College players have to pay for individual team workouts in advance. Douglas was also in Chicago last week but not at the draft camp. He worked out at the Moody Bible Institute with Alabama sophomore Jermareo Davidson, Tide senior Earnest Shelton and Spain's Rudy Fernandez.

Douglas said after the workout that he wasn't opposed to going back to school. He said he wanted a first-round guarantee. The NBA didn't put Douglas in the NBA draft media guide.

"Miami has shown a lot of interest and we'll see what happens," Douglas said. "That's the last shot. The Heat pick 29th so we'll see how it goes."

Douglas said he's not opposed to Toney sitting out a year if he transfers.

"We're not doing this for the second round," Douglas said. "He's too young and has a bright future. We did this to get a lot of data on Toney and when Jerry West [of Memphis] tells you that your son could be a top 20-25 pick if he goes back then you listen."

Douglas is the second Auburn player in consecutive years to declare for the draft, possibly withdraw and then transfer. Auburn junior Marco Killingsworth declared in 2004, withdrew and then transferred to Indiana when Ellis got fired. He'll be a senior at IU next season.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.