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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Haston to announce NBA draft decision

Senior to speak on intentions Friday at Assembly Hall

Ever since senior forward/center Kirk Haston announced his intentions to make himself eligible for June's NBA draft, but not hire an agent, speculation has been circling IU's leading scorer about whether or not he would return to school.\nAll of that speculation will be laid to rest Friday as Haston plans to make his plans known about returning to IU for his final year of eligibility. In a press release issued by the IU athletics department, Haston made it clear that he was not going to hire an agent, leaving the possibility for a return to Bloomington next year.\nEver since then Haston has been participating in workouts in Bloomington and participated in the NBA pre-draft camp at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago last week. Haston impressed the NBA scouts on hand as he averaged 11.7 points and 5.3 rebounds during three days of scrimmaging. Many have said Haston has improved his draft status, moving him from a early second round pick to a late first round pick -- and a guaranteed contract.\n"(Haston) improved his status just enough," ESPN college basketball and draft analyst Andy Katz said. Katz has Haston being drafted at the end of the first round in his mock draft on ESPN.com. Katz said Haston's performance in Chicago surprised him and a lot of NBA scouts with his three-day performance.\n"He was going inside and out and hitting shots at a camp where no one was hitting shots," Katz said. "I didn't think he would be ready this early. Clearly he shot the ball well during the season and he improved under Mike Davis' system. It's all about last impressions."\nHaston's grandmother Betty Kirk said he was excited after his performance at the Chicago camp.\n"There are some things that are interesting (him)," Kirk said. "He seemed to enjoy (the camp), but it was hard work. "\nKirk said she talked to Haston when he returned from Chicago, she wasn't clear as to what his intentions were as far as the NBA was concerned.\n"We're just waiting like everyone else," she said. "We've prayed a lot about it, but Kirk makes up his own mind. Some NBA teams have been interested in (him)."\nWhile Katz and Kirk are enthusiastic about Haston's draft chances, some close to NBA scouts feel Haston should stay in school. One talent scout said people were impressed with Haston's ability at the camp, but he should wait before testing the NBA waters.\n"I think the general consensus says that everyone was impressed (with Haston)," the scout said. "You have to be a fool to not have noticed him, but he needs to go back to school to work on his body and become more versatile. He has a great hook shot, but he needs to spend more time in the weight room to be an effective NBA player."\nSomething that has helped Haston's draft status is the rule changes the NBA will be implementing next year. Much like college basketball, NBA teams will be allowed to run a zone defense starting next season, helping those players who are in-between the forward and center positions like Haston and former Notre Dame standout Troy Murphy.\n"Haston and Murphy came out smelling like roses (with the rule change)," the scout said.\nIf Haston is to be selected in the first round of the draft, then he is guaranteed a four-year contract with an NBA team, but if he slips to the second round, nothing is guaranteed. Even if Haston were to be selected at the end of the first round, the difference in salary from a lottery pick to a late first rounder is in the millions.\n"If (Haston) stays he would be a lottery pick next year," a scout said. "It would be big for him to go back to school"

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