Early Entrant

University of Arkansas junior basketball star Ronnie Brewer announced Thursday that he will put his name in the June 28th NBA draft, but not sign with an agent and thus retain his option to return for his senior season if he pulls his name out by June 18.

As expected, University of Arkansas junior basketball star Ronnie Brewer tossed his hat into the NBA draft ring on Thursday afternoon, but he did leave a little bit of hope out there for Razorback basketball fans.

Brewer (6-7, 228) - following a trend of late - said during his announcement that he will not sign with an agent at the moment and thus leave his options open to returning for his senior season at Arkansas by pulling his name out by June 18th.

"It doesn't hurt to just see what is on the market," Brewer said. "I did try to figure out what was best for me and my family and the whole situation and this is what I have decided to do."

The two-round draft - in which only first-rounders get guranteed contracts - is slated for June 28th at New York City's Madison Square Garden.

Between now and then he will work out for several NBA teams and pay for that on his own.

"Since I didn't hire an agent I am going to have to pay for that kind of stuff," Brewer said. "If they want me to work out they are going to have to go through our coaching staff or my parents. That's how I am going to figure out who wants me to work out for them and then I will see if I can make arrangements to get there. I am going to continue to work out with my teammates and work with our strength coach and go from there."

Brewer certainly has been a standout for the Razorbacks the past three seasons after starring in high school at Fayetteville - where he played his home games less than a mile from where he played his prep ones.

"He is a part of this program and always will be," UA head coach Stan Heath said. "If you cut him open he bleeds red and it is Razorback red. It is really important for our team to continue to work, grow and continue to get better. We are just going to continue day-by-day to be a team and get better. Ronnie is going to continue to be part of those workouts and at some point in time, his deicision."

Asked if going as late as 25th would bring him back, Brewer showed caution in replying.

"I feel if it is that high I think that I enjoy college enough and my team is going to be successful enough and I could raise my stock next year, win some games and get everybody on a national level...that would come into play," Brewer said. "If they were talking late first round I don't think that would be worth it to keep my name in there and I would probably come back."

The preseason SEC player of the Year, Brewer led Arkansas to a 22-10 season by averaging a team-leading18.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this past campaign while being named a first-team unanimous pick on the numerous all-league squads.

In his three-year career so far with the Razorbacks, Breewer helped Arkansas' record improved from 12-16, 19-12 to 22-10, the last record good enough to get his school back in the NCAA Tournament after a five-year abscence.

Opinions vary on where Brewer might be taken in the draft with ESPN.com's Chad Ford seeing him as a 13th best prospect on the board right now and NBAdraft.net seeing him as the 16th pick to the Chicago Bulls who also have a pick in the NBA lottery (picks 1-13).

Earlier in the season mock drafts had him being taken as high as seventh.

"He's a first-round pick," Heath said. "Where he is between the lottery and that (end of the round), his workouts are going to dictate some of that. But some of that has already been determined on how he played this season. A lot of it comes down - and I have talked to a lot of (NBA) guys - what are you looking for. He is going to separate himself from a lot of people.

"Our program is going to continue to be good," Heath continued. "If he is here, we are going to be very good. If he is not here, I know I've got some guys who won't mind shooting the ball a little bit extra."

If Brewer goes on to the NBA, it will mean that Arkansas will have lost three 1,000-point career scorers off of its 2005-2006 season.

The Razorbacks have signed perimeter players Stefan Welsh, Patrick Beverley and Sonny Weems to go along with Mississippi State transfer point guard Gary Ervin as replacments for the two or three players headed out the door.

Ironically, he might have given three years to Arkansas just as his dad Ron did, who attended Westark Community College in Fort Smith before starring for the Razorbacks and then going on to the NBA himself.

He would leave school 16th in career scoring, just 16 points behind his dad's total, but obviously playing in the NBA has always been his dream.

"I think every basketball player from when they start picking up the basketball and then you watch on Sundays and the playoffs, you dream of playing in the NBA," Brewer said. "It would mean a whole lot to me if I am able to get on that level. But with my work ethic, I wouldn't just want to make it there, I want to have an impact."

Ron, Carolyn and Ronnie Brewer met with the media at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday.

The media and teammates packed the interview room at Bud Walton Arena for Ronnie's announcement.

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