And now, for the latest episode of "Houston." In the previous show, Akeem Olajuwon, the 7-foot center, said firmly he would return to school for his junior year. Teammate Clyde Drexler said he hadn't decided whether to stay or to join the National Basketball Association.
Yesterday, however, the fun started. Neither player appeared at a press conference they had scheduled for the purpose of announcing their decisions. After 45 minutes of waiting (organ music), Coach Guy Lewis shocked those assembled by saying neither Olajuwon nor Drexler had made a final decision.
"They didn't want to come here and tell you they haven't made up their minds," Lewis said. "Both these guys have asked me to tell you that they are undecided. It's too premature to announce anything. These guys could make up their mind, change it tomorrow and change it Saturday."
Both must make up their minds and inform the NBA by midnight Saturday.
Olajuwon, a sophomore from Nigeria who could be the first player chosen in the NBA draft, said Tuesday night he had decided, with the help of his family, to stay in school and mature. But sources close to the situation said Olajuwon was still confused that night about the decision.
Drexler, the 6-7 forward, has said all week he hadn't reached a decision. Drexler, according to sources, walked into Lewis' office Monday and announced he was returning for his senior year; Tuesday, he walked in and said he was leaving.
"One minute we're in school and the next minute we're out," Drexler said. "It's been going on like that every day."
Olajuwon and Drexler were the nucleus of a Houston team that gained the NCAA tournament's final four the past two seasons. With both players back next year, Houston would be No. 1 in the preseason polls, as it was for much of last season.
There is conjecture that Olajuwon could command $500,000 a year from Indiana or Houston, which control the first three picks in the draft.
Drexler is a great all-around athlete, but several NBA scouts and sports attorneys have expressed doubt about his future as a professional, most of it because of his poor outside shooting.
In Memphis, 6-10 center/forward Keith Lee announced he would complete his remaining two years of eligibility at Memphis State.