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John Wallace exits draft

Syracuse forward John Wallace announced Monday that he will pull his name from the draft in favor of staying in college for his senior year.

Wallace said he believes he would benefit more by playing another year at Syracuse, where he was second on the team with a 16.8 points-per-game average and first with 8.2 rebounds per game in '95.

"I've been without money for 21 years," Wallace said. "I can wait another year."

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Wallace said NBA scouts told him he needs to work on his perimeter game and become more seasoned before going into the NBA.

"Next year, you're going to see a whole new player at Syracuse University," Wallace said.

Sixers still like Rasheed

The Philadelphia 76ers denied they have eliminated hometown product Rasheed Wallace from their draft list.

In fact, after working out the former North Carolina star, coach and general manager John Lucas wouldn't rule anything out regarding what might happen with Philadelphia's No. 3 pick in Wednesday night's draft.

"He's quicker than I thought he would be, shoots the ball from deeper out and runs the floor faster," Lucas said of Wallace, a 6-10, 235-pound forward. "He's not at all what I perceived him to be. I think he's going to be a star."

And Wallace, whose mother, Jackie, has been outspoken about the prospects of her son playing for the 76ers, said he'd welcome the opportunity to return.

"It's any athlete's dream to play in his hometown," Wallace said. "I grew up watching the Sixers and the Phillies. I'd love to play here."

Clippers look to cash in

Losing has its rewards, and for the Los Angeles Clippers that means the No. 2 pick.

They'll use it to try to improve a team whose 17-65 record was the league's worst last season.

Bill Fitch, hired as head coach after last year's draft, spent time during last season watching college basketball games, knowing that the Clippers' record would guarantee them a high draft pick.

Barring a trade, Fitch said it's likely the Clippers will select one of the players who worked out for the team.

Those players were Oklahoma center Bryant "Big Country" Reeves; North Carolina forward Rasheed Wallace and Tar Heels guard Jerry Stackhouse; Maryland forward Joe Smith; Arizona guard Damon Stoudamire; Michigan State guard Shawn Respert; and Alabama forward Antonio McDyess.

_ TIMES WIRES

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