Sunday, March 17, 2002

West will return, teammates say

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

David West blocks a shot.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        DALLAS -- David West didn't definitively answer the question. But Xavier teammate Lionel Chalmers said the question isn't worth being asked.

        “He doesn't even talk about leaving,” Chalmers said of West. “It's only you guys (in the media) that even ask about it.”

        With XU's season complete, now begin West's deliberations about whether to turn professional. If he does, the junior center would be the first XU player to leave early.

        Asked Sunday night if he wanted to be a part of this team one more season, West was silent a moment and said, “Yes.” But he went on to explain that he won't rush a decision.

        “I haven't thought about it,” he said. “I'll take some time, sit down with Coach (Thad Matta), think about where I stand. It depends on what my family thinks and where I am maturity-wise.”

        Said Matta: “I told him, if he comes back I think he can be the best player in the country. But we'll sit down and see what's best for David.”

        Chalmers, West's closest teammate, all but assured reporters that his All-American teammate would return.

        “He's not worried about what's he doing,” Chalmers said.

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