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Expect Dunleavy to return to Duke for senior year

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

May 10
I was just thinking about my potential All-ACC team for next season -- wow, a lineup of Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Wilcox, Roger Mason Jr. and Jason Williams (oops, he wants to be called Jay now). That's a sensational starting five, don't you think? I'm sorry, that was only a dream, baby! All five have declared for the NBA draft.

Mike Dunleavy Jr
Mike Dunleavy's diverse skills (including passing) make him a complete player.
Even though Dunleavy is the latest Duke starter to enter the draft -- following Williams and Boozer -- there's still some hope for Duke fans.

Dunleavy, a junior, didn't sign with an agent and thus could return to campus in Durham, N.C. If ever a kid fit the mold of student-athlete, it's the son of the former NBA player and coach. Dunleavy has been Mr. Versatility. He averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in helping the Dukies to a 31-4 record last season.

College basketball fans will remember his scintillating performance in the 2000 national championship game against Arizona, when he hit three 3-pointers in less than 60 seconds in the second half (scoring 21 overall). Mr. Dunleavy can flat-out shoot the rock and provide quality minutes at several positions.

Obviously, cash is not a problem in the Dunleavy household, since his father made megabucks in the pros. Grant Hill stayed all four years at Duke, and Dunleavy Jr. seems to be in a similar situation. They both have strong families, money is not an issue and they seem to enjoy college life.

Mike Dunleavy has the opportunity to enjoy four magical college years. My gut feeling is that he's testing the waters, and rightfully so. When all is said and done, even though he could be a lottery selection, the young man will decide to return to college next season.

I guess it's great to dream about great players taking the court next season. What a chaotic situation in college basketball! It's just like Dick Weiss and I discussed in my book, "Campus Chaos."

There are so many talented players leaving for the draft early, yet only 29 first-round slots. There also are a number of foreign players coming from overseas and a fair share of talented seniors. You can do the math: Several underclassmen going early to the NBA are in for a rude awakening.

Coming soon ... I'll look at a number of transfers. Some kids feel they don't get enough PT (playing time), so they move on to another school. It's off we go, baby, off to a greener pasture. That's the American way, and that's what makes us the greatest country in the world, baby! Freedom, my friends, freedom!

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