Texas star Durant may not enter draft, father says

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas coach Rick Barnes is getting annoyed at Longhorns fans chanting, "One more year!" and hoping standout freshman Kevin Durant won't leave for the NBA after this season.

Barnes' message: Let the kid play. That other stuff can wait until after the season.

"It bothers me they say, 'One more year,'" Barnes said Thursday. "Why won't they say, 'Three more years'? I mean, if we are going to do it, let's go for all of it."

Durant, who turned 18 in September, leads the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding and has faced a constant barrage of questions and predictions about his future. The NBA imposed a minimum age limit before last season which prevented him from entering last summer's draft, and many assume he'll leave Texas after this season.

"I don't know if it's going to happen or not," Barnes said. The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is April 29.

But he said Durant is getting tired of speculation and questions.

"Couple of weeks ago, he came to me and said, 'If I have to keep answering questions about the NBA, I don't want to do any more interviews,'" Barnes said. "I said, 'Well, you are dealing with people who have no idea what the hell is going on.'"

Durant's father told The Dallas Morning News there's a chance his son could return to Texas next season.

"Kevin is so young. There's not a rush for him to go to the NBA. Right now, we're not even talking about that," Wayne Pratt told the newspaper. "We're talking about winning the Big 12, and Kevin continuing to progress academically."

Barnes noted that some players choose to stay in college in an era of rich NBA contracts. It hasn't happened lately for him. He lost three underclassmen starters to the NBA after last season.

"There is more to it," Barnes said. "Everyone says, 'How can you turn down the money?' Well, other people have. Tim Duncan stayed in college four years. He could have been the first pick after his sophomore year.

"I think you have to look at Kevin and give him some credit, If he thought like everyone else thinks he would think, he wouldn't be at Texas right now. He would be at North Carolina or Connecticut," Barnes said. "He is a guy who is going to do what he thinks is right for him."

Texas (18-7, 8-3 Big 12) plays at Baylor on Saturday.