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Bogans coming back

Kentucky to have Bogans, Prince for next season

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Posted: Tuesday June 19, 2001 11:04 AM
Updated: Wednesday June 20, 2001 10:51 PM
  Keith Bogans Keith Bogans led Kentucky with a 17.0 scoring average last year. Doug Pensinger/Allsport

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kentucky's twosome of Tayshaun Prince and Keith Bogans had second thoughts about the NBA and will return for another season with the Wildcats.

Wednesday was the deadline for college underclassmen to decide whether to declare for the June 27 NBA draft.

Damien Wilkins pulled his name from the list, though he won't return to North Carolina State. Coach Herb Sendek said Tuesday that Wilkins would not be allowed to rejoin the team. If Wilkins, who will be a junior, wants to keep playing college ball, he will have to transfer.

Clemson guard Will Solomon decided to stay in the NBA draft pool along with Bobby Simmons, DePaul's leading scorer and rebounder last season and Houston forward Alton Ford.

Only players who did not hire an agent when they originally declared for the draft last month were allowed to withdraw their names from consideration. The NBA said a list of those who removed their name from the draft will be released Thursday.

Both Prince and Bogans were projected as first-round picks.

The 6-foot-5 Bogans, who attended an NBA pre-draft camp this month, was the Wildcats' leading scorer last year at 17 points per game. The 6-9 Prince, the SEC's player of the year, decided before the camp began two weeks ago to return for his senior season.

"Another year won't hurt," Prince said.

Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said Bogans was nervous at the Chicago camp.

"That's a lot of pressure when you've got all those NBA scouts and the entire administration of most NBA teams sitting there evaluating kids," Smith said.

Duke's Shane Battier may have influenced Prince's decision to stay.

"You look at a guy like Shane Battier, who improved himself every year," Prince said. "He showed a lot of character staying all four years and it's going to pay off a lot."

With Bogans and Prince returning, the Wildcats will have their top four scorers back from a team that went 24-10, tied for the SEC regular-season title and won the SEC tournament.

Wilkins, the son of former NBA player Gerald Wilkins and the nephew of former NBA All-Star Dominique Wilkins, averaged 11.7 points for the Wolfpack last season. He worked out for Charlotte, Miami and Orlando before changing his mind.

After his workout for the Hornets on Tuesday, coach Paul Silas said Wilkins should return to school. He said he would not consider using a first-round pick on Wilkins right now.

Solomon was a first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a sophomore and was a second-team pick last season.

He averaged 19.7 points as a junior, fourth-highest in the ACC. His 20.9 average as a sophomore lead the league.

Simmons, a 6-7 swingman, averaged 16.7 points and 8.6 rebounds last season for the Blue Demons.

The 6-9, 275-pound Ford, who starred for the Cougars in his freshman season, had a strong pre-draft camp.

"I feel I have a great chance for a team to pick me in the first or second round," Ford told Houston TV station KRIV. "This is my dream and I'm going to stick with it. It's my life."

He said Dallas, New Jersey, Sacramento and Vancouver have all expressed interest in bringing him in for workouts.

 
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