Illini Wonk
Monday, February 21, 2005
  Will he stay or go?
The Associated Press is running a story about the speculation that Illinois junior point guard Deron Williams has decided to hire an agent, leave school and enter the NBA draft. Williams and Weber are denying the rumor, but Weber says Williams will likely make the jump if he's a top-15 pick.

Illini Wonk has long been bracing for the departure of Williams. With the kind of season he and the team are having, it seems like too much to pass up. At this point, it would be surprising if he returned to college basketball.

A couple of weeks ago, Chad Ford's ESPN Insider report had Williams as the 3rd most likely underclassman to declare (behind Chris Taft and Andrew Bogut). Here is the small blurb about Williams: 3. Deron Williams, Jr., Illinois: His stock has never been higher, and he won't miss the opportunity to make the jump. Most scouts believe he's the second-best point guard prospect in the draft behind Chris Paul and should be a lottery pick.

Dee Brown was in the undecided section: 20. Dee Brown, Jr., Illinois: Brown would like to make the jump, but scouts want to see more of him at point guard. Once teammates Deron Williams and Luther Head leave this summer, he'll have the chance to run the Illini. If he does it well, he'll rise on every draft board. Right now, he's better off returning for his senior season.
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