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Archive for Saturday, March 22, 1997

S 85-82 LOSS TO ARIZONA IN THE NCAA SOUTHEAST REGIONAL SEMIFINALS.

March 22, 1997

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— So will they stay or will they go? Will Kansas University junior Raef LaFrentz and sophomore Paul Pierce remain at KU or head to the NBA Draft?

They were asked those questions and had no definitive answers after Friday's 85-82 season-ending loss to Arizona at Jefferson Civic Center.

"Whatever it will be it will be a tough decision," said LaFrentz, who scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 35 minutes. "I've not thought about it much.

"I've not sat down and discussed it with coach (Roy) Williams. We'll do that now that the season is over. I will tell you it will be an unbelievably tough decision. To leave a program like this, to leave a Jayhawk organization that's been unbelievable, it would have to be a special thing."

LaFrentz said the sting of losing could bring him back.

"You could say that. It definitely hurt. My goal is to make the Final Four and win a championship," he said. "I thought this was the year. We fell short."

LaFrentz said he "would do exactly what Jacque (Vaughn) did," meaning he'd let Williams ask NBA general managers about his potential draft position, talk it over with family members, then announce a decision.

"We'll see what's out there," he said.

Pierce said he also will talk to Williams about the future.

"I don't know what the future looks like. Coach and I will meet and discuss it. I'll look at a few things and see what's best for me," Pierce said. "I'll talk to coach and come to a decision soon."

Meanwhile, senior point guard Vaughn, who scored eight points on 3-of-10 shooting and dished eight assists, said flat out he has no regrets about returning to KU for his final year.

"I still feel the same way I feel the day I decided to return," Vaughn said. "I hugged my roommate (Scot Pollard) after the game, looked at Jerod across the room and the other guys and it reinforced my deciision. I'm glad I returned and was able to play tonight. I wanted to win, but we didn't. You will face some adversity in life," he concluded.

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