Local News

N.C. State's Powell To Test NBA Waters

Posted May 2, 2003 3:20 a.m. EDT

— North Carolina State sophomore center Josh Powell said Friday he will enter his name in the 2003 NBA Draft.

The move is a surprise, but the 6-foot-9 Powell said he will not retain an agent and could return to the Wolfpack.

"I am in good academic standing and will not retain an agent. Therefore, I will preserve my option of returning to N.C. State," Powell said.

Players without agents can work out for teams and still pull their names out of the pro mix one week before the June 25 draft and return to college.

Powell, of Riverdale, Ga., averaged 12.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 27 minutes as N.C. State's main inside threat last season. His numbers increased to 19.3 points per game in the postseason, earning him All-ACC Tournament honors.

"We certainly wish Josh all the best as he pursues his NBA goals," said head coach Herb Sendek. "We will continue to provide him support as he 'tests the waters' and certainly will welcome his return if, in fact, he decides to withdraw from the draft."

However, one NBA scout said Powell could be making a major mistake by testing the NBA waters so soon.

"He's on the radar screen of NBA people, but he's just a blip," the scout said. "This could cost him a year or two down the line. The way things are now a guy can have one outstanding game and somebody thinks he should turn pro."

Former N.C. State forward Damien Wilkins tested the NBA waters in 2001 as a sophomore and withdrew his name before the draft. But he was not welcomed back by coach Herb Sendek and transferred to Georgia.

Sendek said Friday that he'll support Powell.

"We certainly will welcome his return, if in fact he decides to withdraw from the draft," Sendek said.

The potential loss of Powell would be a major setback for the Wolfpack, which has made the NCAA tournament the past two seasons. N.C. State is one of the favorites to win next year's ACC title with four starters back and the return of injured star Ilian Evtimov.

Earlier in the week, reserve center Jordan Collins withdrew from school. It is unclear if and when the 6-10 sophomore would return to class.