UNR junior guards Marcelus Kemp and Ramon Sessions will enter the NBA Draft in June but without agents, so they’ll retain the option of returning to school next fall, coach Mark Fox said Thursday.
The players have filed early entry paperwork with the NBA and have until June 18 to decide whether to withdraw from the June 28 draft.
“I am supportive of Marcelus’ and Ramon’s desire to explore the NBA and gain the information necessary to make educated decisions,” Fox said in a written statement.
Senior Nick Fazekas, a second-team All-American this year, followed a similar path a year ago as a junior and decided to return to the Wolf Pack for the 2006-07 season when he concluded there was no guarantee he would be a first-round pick.
Fazekas is expected to be a first-round pick this year after being considered a late first-round or more likely second-round pick a year ago. Only first-round picks are guaranteed contracts.
Kemp, a 6-foot-5-inch first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection, averaged 18.5 points last season. Sessions, a 6-3 second-team all-league pick, averaged 12.3 points and 4.7 assists.
“It’s a very deep draft, and there are only 30 guaranteed contracts,” Fox said. “(I think) the only way to leave school is if you have a guaranteed contract.”
Neither Kemp nor Sessions was available for comment.
• GONZAGA — Theo Davis, suspended from the team after he was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession, agreed to community service and life skills classes in a deal that could erase the charge.
Davis was arrested Feb. 9 in Cheney, Wash., with Bulldogs forward Josh Heytvelt. Police said they found a partially burned marijuana cigarette in Davis’ pocket. Heytvelt recently received a diverted sentence after hallucinogenic mushrooms were found in his car.
• TIMBERWOLVES — Kevin McHale said he will return as vice president of basketball operations next season and plans on bringing star Kevin Garnett and coach Randy Wittman back with him.
“I don’t want to walk away with the team in this state,” said McHale, who said this year’s team resembled the “dysfunctional” squad he inherited when he was named vice president in 1995.
Minnesota finished 32-50 and missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
• NBA ATTENDANCE — The league broke its attendance record for the third straight year, drawing more than 21.8 million fans during the 2006-07 season.
The league surpassed its previous best by averaging 17,757 fans. The previous best marks were set last season, when the average of 17,558 fans led to a total of slightly fewer than 21.6 million.
The top three teams in average attendance are from the Central Division: Chicago (22,253), Detroit (22,076) and Cleveland (20,436).