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Originally published March 20, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 2, 2007 at 9:01 PM

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Big decision looming for UW's Hawes

With spring break in bloom, Washington freshman center Spencer Hawes leaves today for a vacation to Maui. During some of his inevitable...

Seattle Times staff reporter

With spring break in bloom, Washington freshman center Spencer Hawes leaves today for a vacation to Maui.

During some of his inevitable downtime on the beach, Hawes will begin to formulate the decision that will shape the future of Huskies basketball — will he remain at UW for another season, or will he investigate turning pro?

Within a few weeks of his return, Hawes figures to make his decision. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft is April 29. If Hawes declares, he will most likely not hire an agent in order to preserve his eligibility. But declaring would allow him to take part in tryout camps and get a gauge from NBA scouts about his standing in the draft. He would then have until June 18 to pull out of the draft.

Hawes has said little this season in terms of which way he might be leaning, and apparently didn't tip his hand when he held an end-of-season meeting with Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar last week.

"The only thing we talked about is that we will talk about it later," Romar said.

Romar said he isn't in a hurry to know what Hawes will do. "As far as I'm concerned, he doesn't have to tell me until he's ready to tell me," Romar said.

Should everyone on the roster return and the four players UW has signed show up, the Huskies would have 15 scholarship players — two over the limit — so there's no need to know in terms of filling scholarships.

Hawes attended the NCAA regional in Spokane last weekend and was shown on TV sitting with the family of Texas' Kevin Durant, who is expected to head to the NBA. But Romar pointed out the two have been friends since meeting on the AAU circuit and said, "I wouldn't read anything into it."

More telling is that Hawes remains high on NBA mock drafts. Hoopshype.com listed Hawes No. 6 in a mock draft updated March 1. And in a draft updated Monday, NBAdraft.net had Hawes pegged at No. 11.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

Read his blog on Washington basketball at www.seattletimes.com/huskies.

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