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Krauser still needs to be academically eligible to return

6/21/2005

Pittsburgh junior guard Carl Krauser withdrew from the NBA draft minutes before the 5 p.m. ET deadline with a fax to the NBA's New York office, Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon told ESPN.com Tuesday night.

But Krauser isn't definitely returning to Pittsburgh for his senior season. Krauser, who led the Panthers with 16 points a game last season, still needs to be academically eligible in order to return and would have to attend summer school to ensure he could play for the Panthers.

Dixon said Krauser called him and told him he faxed in the paperwork. Dixon then called the NBA to confirm it was received.

Krauser went to the Chicago pre-draft camp and had just one workout after the camp, with his hometown New York Knicks. Krauser ran the risk of going undrafted. The 24-year old Krauser told ESPN.com in Chicago that he had financial responsibilities that could keep him in the draft, like caring for a 10-month-old baby. But, ultimately, Krauser had no choice but to withdraw. If Krauser is eligible, then the Panthers have a real shot to stay competitive for an NCAA berth. The Panthers already are losing its top two inside scorers in sophomore Chris Taft (13.3 ppg), who stayed in the draft, and senior Chevy Troutman (15 ppg).

-- Andy Katz

Notre Dame's Torin Francis

Notre Dame leading rebounder Torin Francis withdrew from the NBA draft Tuesday and will return to school for his senior season.

The 6-foot-11 Francis, who led the Fighting Irish in rebounding the past three years, announced April 14 he was entering the draft despite career lows of 9.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last season.

After working out for NBA teams and taking part in a pre-draft camp in Chicago, Francis changed his mind.

"I'm excited about being back here with my teammates and looking forward to having a good season from both a team and personal standpoint," he said.

Coach Mike Brey met with Francis after the predraft camp earlier this month.

"I was disappointed in how we ended the season last year and I
want to lead this team back to the NCAA tournament," Francis said.

Francis averaged 14.2 points and 8.8 rebounds as a sophomore, and 11.1 points and 8.4 rebounds as a freshman.

La Salle's Steven Smith

Despite already earning his degree in
business management, Steven Smith wasn't quite ready to enter the
world of professional basketball. He wants to enjoy college life
for another year.

In a mild surprise, the Atlantic 10 co-Player of the Year
announced at a news conference that he's staying at La Salle.

He will likely enter graduate school for his final year of
eligibility.

Smith, a 6-foot-7 forward, attended the NBA Pre-Draft Camp in
Chicago and impressed the scouts and executives. He was projected
to be anywhere from a late first-round pick to a mid-second round
selection.