Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Article excerpt

Marshall Enters NBA Draft Pool

All-American Donyell Marshall announced Tuesday he will pass up his senior year at the University of Connecticut to make himself available for the National Basketball Association draft.

"It was a dream I had as a youngster growing up," Marshall said at a news conference at the school in Storrs, Conn. "I just feel this is a very good opportunity I feel I can grab right now."

Marshall, the Big East player of the year, met with coach Jim Calhoun on Monday and decided to put an end to speculation about his future. He had until May 15 to make his decision.

Marshall, 6 feet 9, is expected to be an early pick in the June 29 NBA draft. He led the Huskies to a 29-5 record this season, averaging 25.1 points a game.

The list of underclassmen declaring themselves eligible so far includes Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose of Michigan, Clifford Rozier of Louisville, Jason Kidd and Lamond Murray of California and Yinka Dare of George Washington.

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BASKETBALL Pitino Plans To Stay At Kentucky

Coach Rick Pitino said he isn't leaving Kentucky anytime soon, despite reports rebuffing reports that he was destined for the Los Angeles Lakers. It was the latest in a long series of rumors, over several years, that he was leaving. But he admitted that he had contact with the Lakers while on a golfing and speaking trip to Los Angeles last week.

"There has never been a negotiation of any sort with anybody - at all," Pitino said.

"Contrary to what you may think, this is the premier basketball program in the country today at any level. I believe that. But on the other hand, it's a very difficult life. It's more difficult than any of you can imagine."

Pitino said the news reports may eventually drive him from Kentucky. "If I think my actions or my inability to convince people that I'm staying is not there, I'm going to leave," he said. "I can tell you that because it's hurting the university. If it stops me from getting recruits to come to Kentucky, I will leave. …

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