Friday brought an encouraging break for USF men's basketball in 2011, as junior power forward Augustus Gilchrist, who had been pondering skipping his senior season to enter the NBA Draft, was not among 69 college underclassmen who officially submitted their names as early-entry candidates.
Gilchrist had told USF coach Stan Heath he was putting his name in but leaving open the option of withdrawing before the deadline for underclassmen next weekend, but after receiving an evaluation from the league, Gilchrist clearly got enough of an answer to opt not to test the waters. The Bulls are now likely to get back their top scorer from this past season, a major boost as Heath looks to improve on a disappointing 10-win season.
Gilchrist is on pace to graduate this summer and could still technically leave to play overseas, but if that were his intent, he would have logically gone through the NBA pre-draft workout process to showcase himself for such a move. With Gilchrist back, the Bulls will have seven of their top eight scorers returning next season (all but center Jarrid Famous), plus five newcomers, including Arizona State transfer Victor Rudd.