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S P O R T S


Wilkins is expected to make choice on Tuesday
Silas says he thinks State star will return to college for his junior season

By Bill Cole
JOURNAL REPORTER

FORT MILL, S.C.

Damien Wilkins of N.C. State could be ready to withdraw from the NBA amateur draft and return to school, an NBA coach said yesterday.

Coach Paul Silas of the Charlotte Hornets said that his impression of Wilkins' plans, after talking to Gerald Wilkins, Damien's father, is that Wilkins is favoring a third season of college basketball.

"They don't know what to do right now," Silas said. "They're contemplating him coming back to school, I think. He's not going to get an agent; I know that."

Wilkins, a 6-6 forward, is scheduled to announce his decision to stay in the draft or come back to school on Tuesday, according to N.C. State athletics officials. Wednesday is the deadline for withdrawing from the draft without losing remaining eligibility.

Silas spoke to Gerald Wilkins in Chicago when they were attending a pre-draft evaluation camp in which Damien Wilkins was participating. Gerald Wilkins did not indicate to Silas that the reason for withdrawing would be that his son needs more development.

"They're going to possibly work him out with some teams and see how those workouts go and then make a decision," Silas said. "What that decision's going to be, I don't know right now."

Damien Wilkins turned an ankle about six minutes into the first game in Chicago and was limited for the rest of the camp. Reports out of Chicago during the camp quoted several NBA coaches and general managers as saying they believed that Wilkins should return to N.C. State because he probably wouldn't be a first-round pick and might not be drafted at all.

"I was anxious to see him play," Silas said, "because in the drills and things he didn't look nearly as good as he did in the first six minutes (of the game). He showed some flashes of being able to really get it done."

• Bill Cole can be reached at bcole@wsjournal.com

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