"As of right now, from the information we have gotten from credible sources, the option [to enter the Draft] is there, so I want to go ahead and take full advantage of the opportunity that's at hand," announced the sophomore point guard from the bowels of the Al McGuire center.
Scouts have told James he has a definite possibility of being drafted in June. Yet he stressed that he would not hire an agent, and that he plans to return to Marquette for his junior season unless he is guaranteed to be a first round pick. As long as James remains unrepresented and withdraws his name by June 18 he will be eligible to play for the Golden Eagles next season.
Right now James plans to continue working out with his teammates and is awaiting an invitation to attend the NBA Pre-Draft Camps in Orlando. After the camps, players are able to work out with individual NBA teams.
James seemed relatively eager for the chance to impress scouts when the time comes.
"I feel like there are a lot of things I didn't get to show in the games or that I didn't do as well during the season as I know I can," he said. "I feel like these individual workouts will allow me to show my talents as a player."
Although James' numbers were down this season, many believe that his athleticism and dribble-penetration skills project better to the pro game, where he will play alongside more players at or above his talent level and will see fewer zones than in college.
"In the NBA, there's a more open floor game. You can drive to the hole a little better. It's a whole different game with an up-and-down, fast-paced tempo, and that's the type of game I would love to play in."
As James pointed out, this is regarded by many scouts as a down year for point guards. Right now, he is expected to compete with Acie Law IV of Texas A&M and Mike Conley, Jr. of Ohio State, among others, to be taken at the position.
Whether he leaves or stays, James made it clear he would finish his degree at Marquette.
"That's a promise I made to my grandparents and my mother."
In James' first two seasons at Marquette, the Golden eagles have gone 44-21 and appeared in two NCAA tournaments.
**Jeff Wolf is a freshman majoring in marketing.