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Alabama Basketball: Will Ronald Steele and Richard Hendrix Stay in Draft?

Nic GulasSenior Analyst IJune 12, 2008

In four days, every underclassman who declared for the NBA Draft without an agent has a decision to make. 

Stay or Go. 

It's as simple as that—but the simplicity stops with the question.

Either of those words could spell "title" or "trouble" for many teams next season, and the Alabama Crimson Tide are no different. 

Outside of Indiana, who will have only two players returning from their 2007-08 team when next season tips off, Alabama had the roughest offseason that any program could have. 

Two key transfers, three players declaring for the draft, and three graduating seniors left a feeling of emptiness in Tuscaloosa for much of March and even into the beginning of May. 

Things got somewhat brighter when Alonzo Gee, one of the three who declared for the draft, didn't receive a camp invitation and came back to school.

However, the two other guys who declared, Richard Hendrix and Ronald Steele, did receive camp invites, and both have said very little since the camp.

The two players remain silent heading into the final 100 hours leading up to the June 16, 5:00 pm EDT deadline to return to school. 

As I reported two weeks ago, Steele said he was coming back to school for his senior season...just to change his mind the next day. 

According to Ian Rapoport of the Birmingham News, Steele was all set to return to The Capstone until Steele's father talked him out of returning and to go through the entire process of the NBA Draft. 

Many members of the media, including BamaOnline, Alabama's Rivals.com site, have made attempts to contact Steele for an interview to get a feel about his status.  Every attempt has been denied or ignored by Steele. 

The general consensus among Bama fans is that Steele will return for his senior season to lead the Crimson Tide, just as he had previously declared—but a little assurance wouldn't hurt anyone. 

The consensus for Richard Hendrix, however, is completely different. 

Just like Steele, Hendrix is refusing any interviews post-Draft camp, and many fans want to know his stance and status, more so than Steele. 

Viewed as one of the most underrated players of this year's draft by SI.com, Hendrix was supposed to have individual workouts for teams once the camp ended at the end of May.

But no word has spread about whether or not those workouts happened, and if they did, what the general feel was about each one.   

Hendrix is currently predicted as the No. 42 pick to Sacramento, according to NBADraft.net's predictions from June 2, but most Bama fans feel that isn't good enough for the man who led their team in points and rebounds last season.

Despite that line of thinking, many fans feel that Richard's silence signifies the end of an era in Alabama Basketball history. 

So as the hours tick away this weekend and on into Monday, Alabama Basketball fans will be on the edge of their seats for one of two words from these two potential All-Americans...

Stay or Go.

Title or Trouble.

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