Brittney Griner staying put

March, 31, 2012
03/31/12
5:42
PM ET

DENVER -- If it was not clear before, it certainly should be now. Brittney Griner will be back at Baylor for the 2012-13 season. The WNBA will have to keep waiting.

During Baylor's news conference before Sunday's national semifinal against Stanford, the subject of Griner leaving Baylor after this, her junior season, was raised.

It was quickly squashed by both player and coach.

"I'm staying. I made a commitment. I said I was coming here, and I'm going to stay here until my time is up," the 6-foot-8 Griner said, in a tone indicating this wasn't the first time a facsimile of these words have come out of her mouth. "I'm staying here, right here at Baylor."

As if that wasn't good enough, Kim Mulkey wanted to make sure everyone in the room and beyond was absolutely clear.

"Could you say that a little louder? Because some want to keep talking about it. Would you just repeat that slowly?" Baylor's coach asked her superstar. Griner obliged.

"Baylor is my home. I'm staying here. All the speculations are false," Griner said with the same conviction with which she blocks shots.

Earlier on Saturday, Griner, who averaged 23.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.2 blocks a game, was named to the WBCA Coaches' All-America team and won the Associated Press Player of the Year award.

To be eligible for the WNBA draft, a player must have completed four years in college or turn 22 before the end of the calendar year in which she was drafted. Griner turns 22 in October and, thus, would be eligible. That alone seems to have kept the rumors alive, but Griner has never wavered in her plan to play her senior season in Waco. Now there is no doubt.

What won't be in doubt is the quality of the 2013 WNBA draft. Griner, Delware's Elena Delle Donne and Notre Dame's Sklyar Diggins all going in together might be considered the greatest top three picks in draft history.

Griner and Mulkey made it clear Saturday that history is still a year in the future.

Charlie Creme | email

Women's College Basketball
Charlie Creme projects the women's NCAA Tournament bracket for ESPN.com.

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