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BURLISON notes: West makes a surprise return
But that's what Xavier junior David West a probable late first-round choice if he had entered the draft did Tuesday night.
That decision will have a major influence on those who slap together preseason ratings.
With West and other returning starters in point guard Lionel Chalmers, swingman Romain Sato and off-guard David Young back in the fold the Musketeers, 26-6 after their loss to Oklahoma in the West Region second round, could find themselves in most preseason top-10 rankings.
The 6-foot-9 West, twice the Atlantic-10 Player of the Year, should be on every preseason All-America team (he was a second-team choice in the FOXSports.com selections in March) next fall.
If only more college programs could get that kind of news before the May 12 deadline for underclassmen to enter their names into the draft pool ... yeah, right. Don't count on it.
NCAA newsThe NCAA's Management Council had the common sense to turn down a proposal earlier this week that would have given college underclassmen the opportunity to be chosen in the NBA draft but return to college basketball if they decide not to sign contracts.
Now the NCAA's Executive Committee (presidents and chancellors and the such) has a chance, on April 25, to rectify a blunder the Management Council did make during its meetings in Denver on Monday and Tuesday.
The Executive Committee should veto a proposal passed along by the Management Council that would enable high school players to enter the NBA draft but still hang onto potential college eligibility whether they are drafted or not.
Right now, a high school player loses his college eligibility if he enters his name into the draft pool, without being given the opportunity to withdraw his name a week before the draft (as do college underclassmen).
That's bad. High school and junior college players, too deserve the same opportunity as college underclassmen to "test the waters".
But the proposal (which would allow players to be drafted and go to college if they don't sign), if signed off on by the NCAA, would encourage way too many high school seniors to go through the draft process, even if only three or four of them would be drafted in most years.
High school seniors with a few notable exceptions, and almost everyone knows who they are by December should spend their springs going to proms and getting ready for their freshmen years in college, not trying to impress NBA scouts.
Bouncing around the country
Gooden, who finished second in the JRW Award balloting to Duke junior Jason Williams, apparently still hasn't had much time to sit down this week and discuss the situation with his coach, Roy Williams.
Williams is also trying to sort out what NBA scouting personnel think of his two other juniors, guard Kirk Hinrich and forward Nick Collison.
Unlike Gooden projected by NBA general managers as being selected as early as No. 3 in the June 26 draft most expect Hinrich and Collison to play for the Jayhawks as seniors.
Robinson, fired in March after five seasons as the coach at Florida State, was in Lawrence for seven seasons (1988-95) as a Williams assistant before going to Tulsa as its coach for two seasons.
He's one of the truly good guys in the profession.
Highly touted prep school forward Julian Sensley never gained his academic eligibility at the school and freshman center Jamal Sampson has already left Berkeley and will be in the June NBA Draft.
And swingman Kennedy Winston (Blount High in Mobile, Ala.), a November signee and one of the elite prospects in the national class of 2002, was released from his Cal letter of intent Wednesday by the school, and he's likely to end up at South Alabama or Alabama in the fall.
Sampson-Sensley-Winston it can now be called "the eye-popping Cal frontcourt that never was".
Not only would one be hard-pressed to find an NBA scout who would project the 6-7 Williams as a first-round pick in June, you'd have just as much luck finding one who thinks he'll be picked at all.
Let's hope he's keeping his options of returning to Houston for his senior season in working order.
Clemons will be joining a team that will have an excellent chance of finding its way to New Orleans site of the Final Four next March, even with the loss of senior Clarence Gilbert and junior Kareem Rush (who isn't expected to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft pool, even if it seems likely he won't be a lottery selection).
Coach Quin Snyder had the best sophomore class Arthur Johnson, Ricky Paulding, Wesley Stokes, Travon Bryant and Josh Kroenke in the country this past season.
The long-range success of the program, though, will get a positive jolt if he and his staff are able to secure commitments before too deep into the spring or summer from Rainier Beach (Seattle) junior twins Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart, in the top 25 or 30 members of the national class of 2003. Frank Burlison can be reached at his e-mail address, email@example.com.