ATLANTA -- Kevin Durant stood a few feet away from arguably one of the greatest college basketball players ever in Oscar Robertson on Friday morning, and opened the door just a bit that maybe he could duplicate what Robertson did at the University of Cincinnati nearly 50 years ago:
Win the national college basketball player of the year award multiple times.
Durant, the 6-9 Texas freshman who stormed the sport this season, won the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Oscar Robertson award on Friday, adding to the Adolph Rupp, Naismith and AP player of the year awards he has already collected. The assumption throughout the season has been that he would bolt to the NBA since he is destined to be a top-two pick in June.
But that assumption could be a bit presumptuous.
"The NBA can wait," Durant told ESPN.com. "I love college so much and if I decide to stay, that's going to show a lot of freshmen that they don't have to go to college just for one year.
"I love my family so much at Texas and I really don't want to leave them," Durant said. "[The NBA] is my dream but it's going to be a hard decision."
Durant, who averaged 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds and led a freshmen-dominated Longhorns team to a 25-10 record, has until April 29 to decide. If he enters, he can still withdraw as late as June 18 from the draft, scheduled for June 28.
Wayne and Wanda Pratt, Durant's parents, were in Atlanta with Kevin to receive his hardware. Both of them said they expect the family to sit down sometime in the next few weeks to go over the decision. But neither tipped their hand as to what their son would do. Both said they would listen to Texas coach Rick Barnes.
"After what has been written and after hearing something for so long, everyone believes it," Wanda Pratt said of the assumption that Durant would turn pro. "We can't let that be our focus. We're not sure. We're going to discuss it and come up with an answer."
What would it say if he returned?
"It would send a message that each individual has to follow his own track and [you] can't let someone else dictate your decision," Wanda Pratt said. "You have to follow your heart and make the best decision for you."
Barnes has been Durant's biggest promoter since the day he stepped foot on campus last summer. Barnes told stories Friday morning about how much Durant changed the attitude of this young team, led through encouragement and was the best teammate he has ever seen. Still, Barnes isn't ready yet to say Durant is gone.
"He knows he's going to be one of the top picks whenever he goes," Barnes said. "He said it many times that he has to work on his game. He's having the time of his life and there is an innocence that goes with that.
"Remember, he went to Texas, flying over the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East and didn't do what everyone else said he should," Barnes said. "He's done what he thinks is right for him."
If Durant were to choose his sophomore season over being one of the top two picks, Barnes said Durant would "grow in stature."
"If he decides to come back every mother in the country would say that's who you need to be like," Barnes said. "He's saying, 'Forget the money, I'll do it when I'm ready.' He would not only be the face of Texas but the face of college basketball and would stand for everything you want."
Barnes said Durant doesn't feel any entitlement to be in the NBA. And both Barnes and Durant agree that he wants to be an impact player when he goes to the league.
"I want to play in the NBA one day," Durant said. "But I need to be physically stronger and get my mind and body ready for a long NBA season if I do go. College is the most fun time of your life, it's not just to go to the NBA."
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.