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Ralph Sampson III Will Stay In 2011 NBA Draft, AAU Coach Says

Minnesota Golden Gophers center Ralph Sampson III averaged just 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds while playing nearly 30 minutes per contest as a junior, but those underwhelming totals apparently haven’t kept him from deciding to keep his name in the 2011 NBA Draft as an early-entry candidate.

Ralph Sampson’s AAU coach told Myron P. Medcalf of the Star Tribune that “Ralph’s staying in the draft. He feels like it’s his time.”

That information came to Medcalf following a workout that Sampson III had in front of 26 teams in New Jersey on Sunday, where he worked out with 22 other players — mostly fellow early-entry participants — in hopes of finding out just how he stacked up to the rest of this year’s NBA Draft prospects.

One person at the workout speaking to SB Nation Minnesota said that Sampson was rather unimpressive while noting that Syracuse big man Rick Jackson and Southern Miss forward Gary Flowers were the two best post players at the workout.

With his AAU coach and the Gophers themselves both believing that Sampson will be staying in the draft, the next thing to expect would be the official announcement from Sampson himself.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.