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March 24, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Will Pondexter test the waters?

One thing UW coach Lorenzo Romar will do over the next week or so now that the season is over is meet with each player individually to discuss their future.
And when he gets together with forward Quincy Pondexter, one issue they will almost certainly talk about is whether Pondexter will declare for the NBA Draft this year.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Pondexter is thinking of leaving this year.
Once during their college careers players can declare for the draft and go through the process to get a sense of what the NBA scouts think, then pull their name out as long as they haven’t hired an agent. Testing the waters, so to speak.
And while Pondexter hasn’t said anything publicly about it, there is a feeling he may indeed dip his foot in to gauge the temperature — it’s a move a lot of juniors make these days to go through some of the workouts and get a real assessment of their game. Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo and UCLA’s Josh Shipp are among the seniors this year who declared without hiring an agent last spring to go through the process and get a feel for what scouts think.
Romar said today he has not talked to Pondexter about it but that “it wouldn’t shock me if he did. That’s what the rule is there for.”
If he were to declare, Pondexter almost certainly wouldn’t leave his name in unless he were guaranteed to be a first-round pick, which almost as certainly wouldn’t happen. Pondexter was once a fixture on NBA mock drafts but hasn’t been listed for a year or so since the struggles of his first two seasons at UW.
But he surely perked up his value a bit with his play the last few weeks, particularly in the NCAA Tournament when he averaged 21.5 points and nine rebounds. He had 20 and 10 against Purdue, hitting 7-16 shots against what is regarded as one of the better defensive teams in the country.
Over UW’s last 14 games he averaged 15.4 points — scoring in double figures in all but one game — with 6.5 rebounds, hitting 84-155 shots, 54.1 percent.
Still, one scout said that at the moment Pondexter would viewed as a 6-6 power forward, needing to show more of a perimeter game to really pique the interest of the NBA.
Where he once talked openly about the NBA during his early time at UW, Pondexter said earlier this month that he wasn’t thinking about his future right now, worrying instead simply about the season.
Guard Isaiah Thomas also hasn’t completely ruled out possibly doing the same, though the general feeling is he’s likely not to try it for another year or so.
Pondexter and anyone else thinking about it still has a little while to sort it out. The deadline to declare is April 26. The deadline to then pull out is June 15.
Here’s a list from of players who have already declared, those who have said they are staying, and those who are uncertain.

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