Decision Day

If Jermareo Davidson's name fell off the list of early entrants into the NBA draft, would anyone hear it?

In Tuscaloosa, the answer is certainly 'yes'. Jermareo Davidson started all 31 games for Alabama as a sophomore. And while he sometimes went missing for long stretches, the 6-10 forward contributed 7.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

But it wouldn't be a death blow to Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried's 2005-06 basketball team either.

All-American Richard Hendrix will be in Tuscaloosa and he figures to be a college star from day one. Jean Felix increased his minutes steadily as last season went along and he will be back with the Tide as well.

Gottfried expects to hear from Davidson soon either way. The deadline for withdrawing from the draft in order to preserve college eligibility is at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Davidson has assured Gottfried that if he were not a first-round lock he would be back in Tuscaloosa for his junior season, and NBA Draft analysts unanimously agree he is not.

CBS senior writer Gregg Doyel noted Davidson's early entry, writing "Not sure if this is sad or funny", while the Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy said Davidson is "an athletic specimen but seriously underdeveloped."

Hardly anyone is criticizing Kennedy Winston's decision to leave Alabama after his junior year. He has a legitimate shot of making his NBA dreams come true this year.

On the other hand, Davidson is in the rare position of a player clearly needing his college team worse than the college team needs the player.

Davidson will help Alabama if he makes the call to return to Tuscaloosa on Tuesday afternoon, but more so, he will help himself.

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