Flip Of The Coin

Joe Alexander plans to make a decision within the next two weeks as to his NBA draft status.

The 6-8, 230-pounder has declared himself eligible for the draft, but has not signed with an agent. That will allow him to withdraw his name by the June 16 deadline if he should decided to return to West Virginia for his senior season. Alexander splashed onto the national scene late last year, pushing the Mountaineers into the Sweet 16. His stock skyrocketed at that point, and could go higher pending his performance in draft camps. But because Alexander said he would have a decision by mid to late May – well before many camps begin in June – it appears he might make the choice on information currently available.

As of May 1, Alexander was projected to be selected at least within the first 20 to 25 picks. He said he did not have a specific number in mind when considering whether to return, but a boost into the top 15 could certainly affect his reasoning. The issue with the 21-yar old is that he is just beginning to develop the mental approach needed. The physical tools are there, however, and though they would likely benefit from another season in college, the instruction he would get would not be anything unavailable in the NBA. The question is purely numbers: the money associated with the picks. If Alexander waits another year, he could find himself a top 10 selection, which would give him a significant raise. But there are issues of injury and other aspects as well.

"It is very wild, very wacky," Alexander said. "There has been a lot of sitting around and speculating and so far nothing is happening. It's just been people bugging me."

So who, exactly, is bugging him?

"Who's not?" he said. "I don't know. I really don't know right now."

Alexander remains enrolled at WVU, and said "maybe" when asked if he would go through the pre-draft camps. Bu that timetable, again, doesn't match-up with his decision date, and it appears Alexander is being worn down by the repeated questions, though the media, until tonight, had not met with him since the end of the season.

"It is a recruiting process, but when you are recruited out of high school, you are real interested in it," Alexander said. "In this recruiting process, everybody else is interested."

Alexander, who has never been through a suffocating recruiting process – West Virginia was his only major offer out of Linganore High in Mt. Airy, Md. – said that another year would "definitely be beneficial" but that is isn't leaning in any direction right now.

"It's a flip of the coin," Alexander said. "I am not curious. I'll talk to my dad, my mom and (WVU head coach Bob) Huggins. It was nice to finally sit down and talk about it as reality."

West Virginia assistant coach Erik Martin then ended the interview, saying that "this is a banquet. Let him enjoy himself and get him at another time. You all can ask as many questions as you want later. It's a celebration. Let him enjoy himself."

That came after the media was notified by West Virginia's Sports Information Department that the basketball players would be available for interviews. Alexander had spoken for less than four minutes before the session was ended, and largely failed to answer the majority of questions.

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