Durant Ready To Announce

Kevin Durant is ready to make his decision. According to his father, the big winner will be known on Thursday.

Pay close attention to what David Stern and Billy Hunter have to say these days because their decision could determine whether or not Kevin Durant is the most valued recruit in the Class of 2006.

Durant, a senior-to-be at Oak Hill, is young for his grade classification. The 6-foot-9 small forward would have to spend three seasons in college should the NBA adopt a 20-year old age limit without exceptions. Three seasons from an elite player of Durant's caliber would go a long way toward helping a program build up its forces for a title run.

Now the big news: according to Wayne Pratt, Durant's father, a decision has been reached between Texas, North Carolina and Connecticut.

"We're making a decision tomorrow," Pratt said Wednesday morning. "It'll be sometime tomorrow afternoon, probably 3:30 or 4. We're not doing a press conference."

Durant visited each of the three schools officially.

"After going on all three visits and meeting as a family, we decided at this time that his mind was made up and this is where he wants to go," Pratt said of the choice without revealing the winner. "He wants to concentrate on his academics and his last high school season."

Durant's stellar play this spring elevated him to the No. 2 Scout.com overall ranking in the class of 2006, and he's the top-ranked small forward.

At the Hampton, Va. Boo Williams Invitational in April, Durant's 37-point effort against Team Texas helped him earn Tournament MVP honors. And less than two months later, Durant wowed observers at the Memorial Day Classic in New Orleans. Inside Carolina's Eric Bossi reported from courtside -- "He made more NBA threes but even more impressively he was consistently taking much smaller defenders off the dribble and beating them to the rim with his ball handling and quickness."

The three finalists -- and Durant's post-visit comments ...

UConn - April 29-May 1 - "That was a great visit. I felt at home and got a chance to hang out with Rudy (Gay) and Marcus (Williams). I really liked the atmosphere up there."

North Carolina - May 6-8 - "I liked the visit a lot. My parents loved it, too, and my mother started crying. She said she was so proud of me and that North Carolina would be a good place for me. I really love Coach (Roy) Williams. He's a great guy."

Texas - May 19-21 - "I really liked Texas and am glad I went. It was a real family atmosphere and they treated me like I was part of the team. Their strength coach, Todd Wright, guaranteed me I would gain 10 pounds in a couple months if I came there. I also liked Coach (Rick) Barnes a lot. He's a good guy and he told me how I could come in and be an impact player right away."

Last week, Durant was in France, where he posted 18 points, 10 boards and 5 steals in Sunday's title game to earn him a spot on the World Juniors all-tournament team. Durant spent the week on the perimeter at the small forward spot, where he is most at home. He also posted 16 points against Slovenia, 10 in the first game against Turkey and 17 points and 6 rebounds in the semifinals against Lithuania.

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