Marquette guard Dominic James sat on the edge with both feet in, but before long he was gone. Nevada's starting backcourt, point guard Ramon Sessions and shooting guard Marcelus Kemp, jumped in together and swam for a while. Sessions wound up staying while Kemp got out.
"After going through the entire process, I have decided the best thing for me is to return to Nevada for my senior year," Kemp told the Associated Press. "I have received feedback from the NBA as to what I need to work on and I intend to use that to better myself as a player."
Players lose their eligibility if they sign with an agent, accept benefits from an agent, don't pay for their own expenses, try out with a professional team, or enter the draft and get drafted. To maintain NCAA eligibility, players must withdraw their name from draft consideration by a set deadline before the draft.
There are some concerns about the rule. It prevents college players from doing something international players are allowed to do, which is get drafted and go back to their former team. For instance, the Warriors drafted center Kosta Perovic from Serbia-Montenegro and maintained his draft rights (without paying him) while he returned to play in Europe. But the Warriors couldn't draft, say, Cal power forward Devon Hardin, and send him back to the Bears to develop.
Perhaps the biggest concern, though, is that it favors the student-athletes with money. Traveling to camps and private workouts is a daunting tab. Those who don't have such funds have to find a way to get them (within the rules, obviously) or hold private workouts and hope teams come to see them.
"It's a fair process except the school should pay for it if the player comes back," Walnut Creek-based agent Bill Duffy said. "The school should pay for it and if the player goes (into the draft), then the player reimburses the school."
Several players took advantage of the NCAA's "test the waters" rule, which allows underclassmen to go through the NBA draft process to gage their value with the option of returning to college. There were 56 collegiate players who were early entrants into the NBA draft, 27 withdrew their names from draft consideration.
That seems to help the college game and the NBA. Most of those 27 likely weren't ready for the NBA. Most of those 27 will be better players in the long run thanks to another year of college. What's more, the 29 players who decided to stay in got a chance to think about it, talk with various NBA executives, and compete against other NBA hopefuls.
Because of the rule, Georgia Tech freshman forward Thaddeus Young was able to make a calculated decision about his basketball future. He stayed in the draft, where he is expected to go in the middle of the first round.
"I fully understand that if I were to return to Tech, next year I would possibly be drafted as high as one, two or three, which would mean a lot more money," Young told Associated Press. "Nevertheless, I believe that I should begin my chosen profession at this time and not consider money alone."