June 13, 1997
Texas Tech's Cory Carr Removes Name From NBA Draft
LUBBOCK, Texas - Cory Carr, who led the Big 12 Conference in scoring last season, will remove his name from the upcoming National Basketball Association draft and return for his senior season at Texas Tech University.
The 6-4, 200-pound Carr made the announcement today during a news conference on the Texas Tech campus. The Kingsland, Ark., product led the Big 12 and ranked 10th nationally in scoring with 23.1 points a game last season. He announced on May 8 that he sent a letter to the NBA declaring himself eligible for the draft. He had until June 18 to withdraw his name from the list of early entrants.
Red Raider underclassmen Tony Battie and Gracen Averil have also declared their intentions to enter the draft. Battie, a 6-11 center from Dallas and the only Big 12 player to average more than 10 points and 10 rebounds last year, has been rated as high as the second-best prospect in the draft
Carr recently returned from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he qualified as a finalist for the 1997 USA Men's 22 & Under World Championship team. Carr is one of 16 finalists who will open training camp in Newport Beach, Calif., on July 8 and train daily through July 21. The team will be reduced to its official 12-member roster on or before July 21.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 22 & Under World Championship will be held August 1-10 in Melbourne, Australia. The USA squad will be among a 12-team field that includes Australia, Argentina, China, Egypt, Lithuania, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and Yugoslavia.
Cory Carr News Conference
"It's been a long road, long month and a half. A lot of people telling me a lot of different things. I was soaking up a lot of information, just basically playing the guessing game. It was kind of tough in my position, not knowing what you are projected as. You know that you can fall from this category to the next.
"I don't think you want to be in a situation like that. I think you want to be in a situation where you know exactly where you are going to be and you don't have to worry about this and that. With that, although people said a lot of good things about me, they also thought there were some ups and some downs. I think that more than anything I am still going to go with my general initiation and go ahead and enter my name into the draft...I'm just kidding coach. (laughter).
"I am going to withdraw. I know another year will do me well. A lot of people thought there are some things I had to work on. Of course, I agreed with that. I thought I could definitely help myself by playing another year. It will definitely be a lot tougher without the big man (Battie). But, at the same time, it will be another stepping stone for myself...time to become more of a leader for our team...just bring the younger guys along.
"There are some areas that we will definitely have to change and get better on. But at the same time, I think it will be tremendous learning experience for us."
What's you future in the NBA - as a point or a two guard? "That's just another area that I'll have to work on. Some people think that size is a big thing or considering that I am playing the off guard position. Coach (Dickey) has told me I'll definitely have to be a combination guard, work on some of the ball handling and work on the medium range jump shot and some things like that. I definitely agree with him. But at the same time, he thought there were some positives. People thought I did a lot of good things. He thought it was my decision. That's something you have to respect from him. I also listened to all the things he had to say. He was certainly telling me things that were in my best interest, whether they were positive or negative."
Any indication of where you would have been drafted? "Earlier, people said from anywhere from 10 to 29. I don't think you want to be in a situation like that. I've heard from 13 to 20, 13 to 25, it just changes. I was back and forth each and every day, not exactly knowing where a consistent amount of people thought that I would be. I didn't want to take that chance. I definitely wanted to be in a situation where I was financially able to support whomever I was supporting in my first year of NBA basketball.
"It was a situation that I thought was in my best interest."
"I should have expected that kind of response from Cory. When he told us where he was going to college, I called him and he said, 'Coach, I've made a decision, I am going to Southern Illinois,' and I dropped the phone. He was just teasing and I am glad he was just teasing today.
"This has been a positive learning experience for all of us. It's a great day for our program. We could not have had a better recruit anywhere. To have him come back for his senior season with the leadership he possesses, with the talent, with all the intangibles, the winner he is within, is going to help our basketball team tremendously.
"I think we can be a outstanding perimeter team. We won't be the same type of team inside. But I do think we'll have some young players who will step up big for us. We may change some of things that we do next year. Our hope is that it will benefit our team, but certainly Cory in his future as a NBA player.
"There is no question in my mind that he will be an NBA player. I think our common goal was that we would like to see him be a lottery pick, whether it be this year or next year. We talked to most of the teams from 10 to 30. (No where) was there a guarantee that he would be a lottery pick, and that's something we would like to see happen for Cory.
"The teams that I talked to that were 15 and below, one of the problems you have there is, not only, 'Will you be drafted, but if you are drafted, can you make the team?' Some of the teams that are picking late in the draft are very good. They have a lot of guaranteed contracts. They have as many as 10 guaranteed contracts with some free agents who they plan to resign. So you have another factor to consider is that he would have to go in and make the team, even though he would have guaranteed money, it's not just the financial end, he wants to play as well.
"When you go to some of those teams, it becomes a more difficult situation to make the squad. I do think the big thing for Cory next year is to improve his ball handling and his passing off the dribble. I do think that will enhance his chances at the next level of being a combination guard. He can shoot it an the NBA level. He has the strength. He has the defensive presence to play. He has all the intangible qualities that they look for on and off the court. But certainly, we wanted him to have the ability to give it up and to distribute it. He is a very unselfish player. We didn't ask him to pass a lot this year. Next year, because of double teams that he'll be facing, he will be called on even more to distribute the ball and find the open man. We think this will help him at the next level.
"I think it's a great decision. I am convinced now that he would have been a first round draft choice. I think that makes the decision even more difficult for him. It just tells you what kind of person he is. We did have some concerns that he might drop into the second round just because of the number of two guards that were out there. After talking to most of the NBA people, he is certainly a legitimate first rounder, which would have meant guaranteed money. But he is looking for a higher draft pick than just being in the first round.
"I think that says a lot about him as a person. Certainly, it says a lot about his family. His family has been very supportive."