Rick Pitino announced today that junior center Terrence Jennings will declare for the NBA Draft, but will not sign with an agent.
"It will be great for T.J. to see how people work in this environment and the type of competition and I’ll get feedback from every general manager on what he needs to work on," Pitino said. "I think it’s almost good because they’ll tell him, ‘You’ve got to get your rebound numbers up, you’ve got to get your balance better’ — all the things I’ve been telling him, they’ll reinforce it."
Before people start freaking out, I think this is actually good news.
A few weeks ago, a current player said that if TJ had to decide right then, he would be gone. The word at the time was that Jennings wasn't concerned about not being drafted and was prepared to play in Europe. This being the case, I think the fact that he has decided to go through the pre-draft stuff without signing with an agent is a very positive sign for him returning.
Jennings' best games as a Cardinal this past season came when Gorgui Dieng was out with an injury. More than any other player on the current roster, he thrives in situations where he doesn't have to be concerned with being taken out of the game. It's not surprising then that the prospect of competing for playing time with Dieng and Wake Forest transfer Tony Woods next season isn't sitting particularly well with TJ.
I'll be surprised if Jennings doesn't return for his senior season, but I don't think the issue is as cut-and-dry as many will make it out to be with the release of this news.