The juniors who led Georgetown to this year's Final Four are breaking up their act. Jeff Green announced he will remain in the NBA draft, while Roy Hibbert said he will withdraw his name and return for his senior season -- and a chance at an NCAA championship.
"It's hard for me to leave this place," said Green, the Big East Player of the Year. "College is something that happens only once in your life. It'll be tough knowing I'm not out there with the guys I came in with."
Had both Green and Hibbert returned, the Hoyas might have begun next season as the No. 1-ranked team. Instead, Green is leaving behind the chance at a title and is forsaking his long-stated goal of playing four years at Georgetown.
"Just sitting down with my family and coach, I feel like we came to a decision that I should stay in this draft, and it would be the best thing for me after the season that the team had and that I had," Green said. "I'm in a good position to go pretty high in this draft."
Green was selected as most outstanding player of the NCAA East Regional as the Hoyas reached the Final Four for the first time in 22 years. The 6-foot-9-inch forward has a versatile team-oriented game that should serve him well in the pros.
Green and Hibbert, who both took out insurance policies a year ago in case an injury ruined their future NBA careers, submitted their names as early-entry candidates last month and have spent their time since then discerning their draft value.
Sophomore Rodney Stuckey, the best basketball player in Eastern Washington history, signed with Goodwin Sports Management of Seattle, which prevents him from returning to college if he is not drafted by an NBA team. Stuckey, a 6-5 guard, said his agents received information he might be a first-round draft pick.
Bobcats hire Vincent
The Charlotte Bobcats have chosen Dallas assistant Sam Vincent
as their new coach, a person familiar with the search said. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made, said Vincent would be introduced at a news conference tomorrow. Vincent will be reunited with Bobcats part owner Michael Jordan
, who has the final say on basketball decisions. Jordan and Vincent played together for two seasons with the Chicago Bulls in the late 1980s. The 44-year-old Vincent will replace Bernie Bickerstaff
, who also served as general manager in the expansion team's first three seasons. Bickerstaff is staying with the Bobcats in a front-office role . . . Randy Wittman
signed a multiyear contract to return as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Terms were not immediately available, but team spokesman Mike Cristaldi
said the move has been expected since the Wolves wrapped up a disappointing season by missing the playoffs for the third straight year. Vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale
said all along that he wanted Wittman to return, despite the team going just 12-30 after the assistant took over for the fired Dwane Casey
Hill out as Magic coach Brian Hill
is out as the Orlando coach after two consecutive losing seasons and a first-round sweep in this year's playoffs.
It was unclear whether Hill was fired or resigned, with the team releasing a statement at night stating he would not return as coach. The team said Hill would have the option to return to the organization in another capacity.
"Brian's contributions to the Orlando Magic have been tremendous," president Bob Vander Weide said in the statement.
US nets Oden, Durant Greg Oden
and Kevin Durant
are headed to USA Basketball camp but LeBron James's
summer plans still seem up in the air. The United States added eight players to its roster, highlighted by the college stars . "To show that they already have this commitment to playing for the United States at this age is terrific," US coach Mike Krzyzewski
said during a conference call. Jason Kidd
, Carlos Boozer
, Deron Williams
, Mike Miller
, Tayshaun Prince
, and Tyson Chandler
also were invited to Las Vegas for training camp in July, a month before the Americans will try to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. James has called himself only "50-50" to join his teammates because his girlfriend is expecting a baby next month and he wants to rest. The Americans are also getting back Kobe Bryant
, Chauncey Billups
and Michael Redd
. The final 12-man roster for the FIBA Americas tournament must be submitted the day before the Aug. 22 start.
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.