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Big Baby's new crib: the NBA

Frank Young did other things beside setting a West Virginia record for 3-pointers, such as pulling down this rebound. Frank Young did other things beside setting a West Virginia record for 3-pointers, such as pulling down this rebound. (JEFF GENTER/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

LSU center Glen "Big Baby" Davis said yesterday he will skip his senior year to enter the NBA draft.

"After my toughest year, I now feel I am physically and mentally ready for the NBA," Davis said. "In my mind and in my heart, I felt that it was time for me to move on."

He has signed with agent John Hamilton of Performance Sports Management, but will remain enrolled at LSU until the end of the semester.

Davis, who has 290 pounds on his 6-foot-9-inch frame, averaged 17.7 points and 10.4 rebounds this season, missing several games because of a strained quadriceps. Davis was a second-team All-America selection in 2005-06, when LSU went to the Final Four.

Eaves leaves UConn
Freshman forward Ben Eaves is leaving Connecticut and plans to transfer.

"Ben and I met this week and he let me know that he has decided to continue his college career at another institution," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. "While I am sad to see Ben leave, I completely understand his feelings and will do everything I can to help him transfer to a school where he can enjoy the best experience for him as a student and as a basketball player."

Eaves, of Lancashire, England, attended Worcester Academy for a year before joining the Huskies. The 6-7 swingman appeared in 11 games in 2006-07, the first year since 1987 that the Huskies are not part of college basketball's postseason.

"I have really enjoyed my year here at Connecticut and this has been a tough decision for me and my family to make," said Eaves, who played a total of 25 minutes and scored just 1 point . . . Guard Scottie Reynolds said he will be returning to Villanova for his sophomore season. "I'm not even thinking about [the NBA draft]," said the Big East Rookie of the Year.

NYC for Mississippi St.
Jamont Gordon had 16 points and seven assists and five teammates joined him in double figures as Mississippi State beat visiting Florida State, 86-71, to advance to the NIT semifinals Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The Bulldogs (21-13) held Al Thornton of the Seminoles (22-13) to 22 minutes and 16 points. Mississippi State, the top seed in the North Region, will play West Virginia. Thornton drew two personal fouls in the game's first four minutes, then two more in the first five minutes of the second half. Without their star, the Seminoles wilted under Mississippi State's ball-hawking man-to-man defense. The Bulldogs' pressure resulted in 15 steals and 25 turnovers, and the game would have been out of hand in the first half without the play of Florida State's Isaiah Swan, who scored 31 points, including nine 3-pointers . . . Frank Young scored 25 points, including 14 straight in the second half, and West Virginia defeated visiting North Carolina State, 71-66, to advance. Young set the school record for a season with his first 3-pointer, then buried five more, including three in the last six minutes to help West Virginia advance to its first NIT semifinal since 1981. The Mountaineers (25-9), the top seed in the East Region, beat N.C. State (20-16) for the second time this season . . . Willie Irick scored 17 points and Oklahoma City (35-2) adjusted its defense to take advantage of leg-weary Concordia and cruised to a 79-71 victory in the championship game of the NAIA tournament in Kansas City. The Eagles (31-7) were obviously a step slow following its four-overtime, 124-119 victory over top-seeded Robert Morris Monday.

Tourney not enough

Long Beach State will not bring back coach Larry Reynolds, deciding to let his contract expire even though he led the 49ers to the NCAA Tournament this season for the first time in 12 years. "We had a banner season, but upon an extensive review I came to the conclusion that a foundation had not been built to ensure long-term success," athletic director Vic Cegles said. Long Beach State (24-8) was knocked out of the tournament in a 121-86 loss to Tennessee Friday . . . Kansas assistant Tim Jankovich was hired as coach of Illinois State, taking over a team that hasn't reached the NCAA Tournament in a decade. Jankovich planned to rejoin Kansas as it prepares for a regional semifinal game tomorrow against Southern Illinois and will stay with the team through the tournament. Jankovich's spot will be filled by Danny Manning, who led the Jayhawks to their last national NCAA championship in 1988 and spent the last four seasons as team manager and director of student-athlete development . . . Princeton coach Joe Scott will take over as coach at the University of Denver. Scott replaced John Thompson III at Princeton and posted a 38-45 record, including an 11-17 mark this season. The Tigers finished last in the Ivy League for the first time in school history (2-12) . . . Dianne Nolan stepped down after 28 years of leading the Fairfield women's basketball team. Nolan, who posted a 456-359 record with the Stags, helped the program move from Division 3 to Division 1 and led Fairfield to four appearances in the NCAA Tournament.