NEW ORLEANS -- This is a tough spring for Brandon Bass. The
LSU sophomore is agonizing over whether to play another year of
basketball at LSU, where he earned the Southeastern Conference
Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors this season, or head
to the NBA draft.
"I'm in a win-win, lose-lose situation," Bass said on
Wednesday. "It's going to be really tough to make this decision."
Bass has until May 14 to decide if he will make himself
available for the NBA draft. Last year he decided to test the
water, declaring he was available, but withdrawing later. A player
can only do that once and return to his old team, however. If Bass
declares this year he can't play for LSU again.
"That's weighing on my mind," Bass said.
Bass was a big part of LSU's success this season, averaging 17.3
points per game (third best in the SEC), 9.1 rebounds (2nd in the
SEC) while leading the league in field goal shooting at 56.7
percent. He scored in double figures in 27 of 30 games with 12
The Tigers finished the season 20-10 overall and 12-4 in the
SEC. After shaking off early-season problems, LSU tied for the SEC
Western Division title.
"We're going to have a good team next year no matter what,"
LSU coach John Brady said. "But we have an opportunity to have an
outstanding team, perhaps the best we've had, if he does return."
The Tigers would have a much better chance of making a run in
the conference and the NCAA Tournament next season if Bass
returned, Brady said.
"That's what I'm thinking about now," Bass said. "Next year
is an important season for the Tigers."
Bass' mother died when he was 10. He and his younger brother and
sister moved to his aunt's house in Baton Rouge.
Estelle Bass, a single mother with five children, suddenly had
eight kids to raise on a housekeeper's salary.
"She hasn't said anything about this decision," Bass said.
"It's just me, myself and I working on it."
Bass has talked to him about the decision, Brady said. Both Bass
and Brady have consulted with the NBA advisory board about where
Bass might go in the draft, Brady said.
"I'm for Brandon doing what's best for him," Brady said.
"It's a critical decision for him and I know he'll give it a lot
of thought and make the right one."