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06-19-2003, 10:53 AM
Perkins' decision surprises Calipari
By Andy Katz

High school senior Kendrick Perkins will remain in the draft and not attend Memphis, Tigers coach John Calipari said Thursday morning.

Calipari said Perkins phoned him and told him he would stay in the draft instead of honoring his commitment to play for Memphis. The deadline to withdraw from the June 26 draft is 5 p.m. ET Thursday.

"He's going to stay in the draft without a guarantee that he'd be in the first round. Amazing," Calipari said. "I'm not sure who is talking to these kids."

Memphis lost signee Qyntel Woods and Amare Stoudemire, who committed to, but didn't sign with, the Tigers in last year's draft. Memphis freshman Dajuan Wagner left after one season for last year's draft, too. All three were first-round picks.

Perkins had worked out in Houston for San Antonio, and there had been speculation that the Spurs or even the Dallas Mavericks, who have the Nos. 28 and 29 picks, respectively, in the first round would select Perkins. That still might happen, but Perkins apparently didn't have a guarantee that he would be selected when he made his decision to stay in the draft.

The 6-foot-10, 285-pound Perkins was a McDonald's all-American out of Ozen High in Beaumont, Texas. He led Ozen to a 96-3 record in his last three years there, averaging 27.5 points and 16.4 rebounds as a senior.

Perkins is the third high school senior to remain in the draft, joining projected No. 1 pick LeBron James and possible second-round pick James Lang. High school seniors Travis Outlaw, who signed with Mississippi State, Ndudi Ebi, an Arizona signee, and Charlie Villanueva, who has committed to Connecticut, will decide by Thursday afternoon, as well.

06-19-2003, 11:03 AM
This kid is interesting. I'm glad to hear he is staying in the draft. I'd like to take a waiver on him if we get the chance.