As expected, Manhattan's junior guard Rico Pickett, the MAAC's leading scorer this past season, will return to the Jaspers for the 2010-11 season.
Earlier this spring Pickett submitted his name for eligibility in next month's NBA draft. He had until this past Saturday to withdraw his name from consideration to retain his eligibility for next season, which he did.
Pickett was among 80 college underclassmen to declare for the draft. Players who did not hire an agent had the option of withdrawing their names. About 50 underclassmen decided to remain eligible for the draft and give up their college eligibility.
Only 60 players are drafted by the 30 NBA teams in the two-round draft. Only players selected in the first round are assured, by NBA rules, of receiving guaranteed contracts.
Underclassmen who declare for the draft are allowed to work out for NBA teams prior to Saturday's deadline to decide to remain draft eligible or return to school.
Pickett, though, did not participate in any workouts, according to a report in his hometown Decatur (Ala.) Daily newspaper.
“I made the decision, really, before I even had workouts,” Pickett told the newspaper. “I had workouts set up. I just decided I wanted to come back to school before it all started.”
He’ll return to Manhattan College, his third college stop after Alabama and Miami-Dade Community College. Pickett scored 17.7 points a game as a junior last season to lead the MAAC..
“The main part was really what I wanted for myself and what I wanted to do,” he said. “I felt like that I just needed one more year before I pursued my professional career.”
It probably didn't hurt his decision that his name never appeared in the many mock drafts floating around the internet.