CLEMSON -- Befitting his laid-back personality, Clemson junior K.C. Rivers is admittedly biding his time in deciding whether to declare for the NBA Draft.
The deadline for entry is April 27, one day after semester exams begin. So the way Rivers sees it, he had better concentrate on finishing his coursework so he can return.
"Push comes to shove, I'll be back next year," Rivers said Tuesday.
Just how pushed Rivers feels in either direction figures to depend on his official draft projection.
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While the majority of college players believed to be considering the jump have already made their decisions public, Rivers wants all the possible information in hand before making a call.
Last week, the 6-foot-5 wing from Charlotte filed paperwork with the NBA's underclassmen advisory committee to gauge his draft stock. And unlike the best-case estimate the NFL's provides, the NBA's committee reputedly gives a finite range within its rounds to paint as clear a picture as possible.
Rivers is slated to receive his feedback by Monday, so an announcement is expected to follow shortly thereafter.
The NBA allows underclassmen one chance to declare for the draft and withdraw after the workout circuit if the player does not hire an agent.
As such, Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said last month the rule makes it almost imprudent for an underclassman not to test the waters once for the experience -- leading Purnell to say he expected Rivers to enter this year's draft.
"After your junior year, I'm not going to say it's a no-brainer, but I had a solid season, so why not give it a shot," Rivers said. "The worst they can tell you is to come back."
Rivers, however, still seems to be considering entering the draft and possibly staying in.
Only 60 players are chosen in the draft's two rounds, and Rivers is rated as the No. 84 draft-eligible prospect by ESPN. He averaged 14.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and shot 40.3 percent from 3-point range as a junior.
If Rivers is projected to be taken in the second round, he expects to discuss his options with Purnell and go from there -- likely entering the draft but not hiring an agent in order to preserve his eligibility.
On the flip side, Rivers said if he is projected to go undrafted, he is not necessarily interested in going through the evaluation process for the sake of it.
"I don't see any sense in putting my name in," he said.
One aspect that figures to no longer be an issue is cost.
The NBA covers travel and lodging expenses for the pre-draft camp, but underclassmen used to have to pay for those expenses to conduct individual workouts for teams after the camp.
However, the league and NCAA approved a rule last month permitting teams to cover those expenses, as well.
While Clemson senior forward James Mays worked out with a trainer in New York last summer while testing the draft waters, Rivers said he would take a cheaper approach.
He would expect to train at home with his uncle, former Charlotte standout Byron Dinkins, while waiting word on the pre-draft camp, which sends out invites in mid-May.
Early entrants have until June 16 to withdraw from the June 26 draft, and the NBA advisory committee would update Rivers' projection closer to that date if requested.
"It is a chance to take a shot and see what they say," Rivers said. "But you have to do it in a smart manner.
"If what they say is not in my favor, do what's right, and what's right is to come back to school."
• CHAMPAIGN, ANYONE?: Clemson will travel to Illinois for its ACC/Big Ten Challenge game next season, the school announced. The Tigers will face the Fighting Illini on Dec. 2, and the game will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.