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Connecticut’s Hasheem Thabeet will give up his final year of college eligibility and enter the NBA draft.

The 7-foot-3 center from Tanzania said yesterday that he made the decision after speaking to family, friends, and coach Jim Calhoun.

Thabeet, the Big East co-player of the year with Pittsburgh’s DeJuan Blair, averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 4.2 blocked shots per game in helping the Huskies to a 31-5 record and a Final Four berth.

Calhoun called Thabeet “one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of college basketball,” and said he believed he is ready to make the move to the NBA.

Another Big East star, DePaul’s Dar Tucker, also plans to enter the draft. The 6-5 sophomore guard averaged 18.5 points and five rebounds this season.

Flynn may return. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim says guard Jonny Flynn might not be headed to the NBA along with teammates Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris.

Boeheim said Flynn’s status was “kind of up in the air.”

Last week the school announced that all three players planned to make themselves eligible for the draft.

The coach said Devendorf and Harris are virtual locks to leave, but Flynn might still opt to come back to school.

Flynn led the team in scoring at 17.4 points per game and set an Orange record by playing 1,418 minutes in his sophomore year. After two seasons, he ranks seventh in career assists (439) at Syracuse.

He indicated he will not hire an agent, giving him the option to return to school.

Evans’ decision. With Chester native Tyreke Evans close to deciding whether to make himself available in the draft, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James weighed in on the prospects of the former American Christian star, a freshman at Memphis.

“If he decides to come out, he’ll be a lottery pick,” James said after his team beat the 76ers on Friday at the Wachovia Center. “He’s really talented, and I got the opportunity to have him at my basketball camp a few years ago when he was in high school. As he continues to grow and his body develops into a man, he’ll be really good. I’m all for whatever Tyreke decides to do.”

Yesterday, Memphis assistant coach Lamont Peterson said that Evans’ decision would come soon.

“Tyreke has sat down with his family, and a timetable has been set for him to make an announcement,” said Peterson, who declined to reveal the deadline. “We’ve heard from several sources in the NBA.”

Evans is enrolled at Memphis and continues to attend classes. He averaged 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game this season.

Coach John Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky. Former assistant Josh Pastner is the Tigers’ new coach.

“Coach Pastner has his own ideas about how to utilize Tyreke’s talent and skill set, which will be a little different from Coach Cal,” Peterson said. “But Tyreke has a great relationship with Coach Pastner.”

James, who made the leap from high school into the NBA, was asked whether Evans could improve further by staying in school.

“I think he could, but he can develop in the NBA also,” James said. “Who am I to say, ‘Stay in college’… Read Entire Article Here

Jesse Morgan makes a dunk for the City boys´ team.
RAHUL COUTINHO / Staff photographer
Jesse Morgan makes a dunk for the City boys’ team.
By Ted Silary

PHILLY’S PUBLIC schools are off this week, and so is Jesse Morgan’s body.

Don’t believe him? In his own words, here are his plans: “I’m gonna rest, rest and rest. That’s it.” He almost started a day too early.

The occasion yesterday at 4 p.m. in La Salle University’s Tom Gola Arena was the boys’ contest in the All-Star Labor Classic. The guy with droopy eyelids through the first half? That was Morgan, the star guard from Olney High who mostly goes by “Booge” – rhymes with scrooge.

“I didn’t get up until 2 o’clock,” Morgan said. “I was sluggish. Took me a while to get going.”

Don’t worry. We asked the obvious questions.

“I didn’t go to bed until about 2 in the morning,” he said. “Our spring break is just starting. I want to take advantage of it. I want to get used to not having to go to sleep so early.

“How’d I sleep that long? My bed’s real comfortable. It was easy. Didn’t even wake up once. Slept straight through.”

Morgan, a 6-4, 175-pound senior guard, earned first-team honors on the Daily News’ recently released All-City squad. Once he got rolling yesterday, he bobbed and weaved – and exploded – his way to 16 points, though the result for City was a 109-99 loss to Suburbs.

Morgan hit only one of three shots in the first half; all attempts were treys. He made all five of his shots from the floor thereafter, with a three and dunk mixed in, while going an uncharacteristic 2-for-5 at the line.

He added three rebounds, along with one assist and a steal.

Through his first 3 years of high school ball while at Prep Charter, Morgan mostly was pigeonholed as a zone-buster. This past season, he did everything imaginable while pacing Olney to the Division A regular-season title.

“I knew I had more in me,” he said. “Maybe not everything I wound up showing, but that came as I went through the season. I really picked up my defense and rebounding. I kind of surprised myself in those two areas.

“I’m proud of how things went. I blossomed into a good all-around player and raised my stock a lot higher.”

Right about now, rumors about Morgan’s future are as plentiful as Easter candy next to drug-store cash registers.

Schools from around the country are at least inquiring – Final Four participant Connecticut is among them – and offers, Jesse said, have come from Nebraska and Baylor, in addition to Temple and La Salle. No official visits have been made. He has checked out the locals on unofficials.

So, he’s not ready to sign, as some are saying?… Read Entire Article Here

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