HoopsHype Ralph Sampson rumors
I don't know if Sampson has hired an agent yet. But a source close to the program said he believes Sampson will ultimately return to school for his senior season. My source also said that Gophers coaches and even Ralph Sampson Jr., a former No. 1 draft pick, have encouraged Sampson to finish school. "Sampson should stay in school," the source said. "He's been told by coaches and his own dad." Minneapolis Star-Tribune
My source, however, said there are no guarantees of that because some influential people in Sampson's life have encouraged him to stay in the draft. If Sampson intends to play for the Gophers next season, he'll have to withdraw from the draft by the NCAA-mandated May 8 deadline to preserve his collegiate eligibility. That deadline, however, only applies if he doesn't have an agent. This could be an interesting two-week window for the Gophers, who recently lost Colton Iverson. Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Scott Howard-Cooper: As noted by @Fran Blinebury, Ralph Sampson at Rockets game tonight ahead of Hall announcement in Houston amid strong signals Sampson is in. Twitter
Maybe one of the players previously passed over for enshrinement finally joins the Hall of Fame when the Class of 2011 is revealed Monday in Houston. That would fit well with the drive of Jerry Colangelo to ensure that candidates from the past do not get lost in the ages. The Hall chairman sees that as enough of a priority that he helped create a pair of old-timers' committees that are each guaranteed one inductee a year. Or not. Maybe Chris Mullin, Dennis Rodman, Jamaal Wilkes, Maurice Cheeks and Ralph Sampson have another round of disappointment and no player with deep NBA roots get in this year. That would fit well with history -- each has failed in previous bids, some several times. Mullin has missed five times in a row. He'll be off the ballot the next five years if he is not elected this time. NBA.com
A former NBA player could sneak in, elected via the ABA selection (though their biggest mark would have come in the now-defunct league) or the Early African -American Pioneers of the Game committee, the two groups Colangelo helped develop. Both committees were given the unique ability to choose one person for automatic induction, without having to become a finalist and then receive at least 18 of 24 votes for enshrinement. It's often pointed out, by those around the NBA, that the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame is not the NBA Hall of Fame. We'll find out Monday, when the inductees are revealed at collge basketball's Final Four, whether the NBA will be represented at all this fall in Springfield, Mass. NBA.com
The trophy case in the home of Ralph Sampson's mother is about to get a little more crowded. Sampson, the 7-foot-4 Virginia center and three-time Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, joined seven others Monday, including coaches Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton, as the newest members of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. "I hope everybody who watched me play, at the collegiate level or the NBA level or any level, high school as well, enjoyed me while I was playing," Sampson said in a conference call that included Cazzie Russell, the former Michigan great who was also named to the 2011 class. "I will cherish this the rest of my life. It will go along with my college player of the year award at my mother's house." Houston Chronicle
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