Originally created 03/05/02

Jarvis Hayes plans to stay at Georgia at least one more year



ATLANTA -- Good news for Georgia basketball fans: Jarvis Hayes said Monday he plans to stay with the Bulldogs at least one more season.

Hayes, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, is certainly in position to consider the NBA draft after leading the Southeastern Conference in scoring his first year in the league.

But the prospect of playing with his twin brother for another year and completing his degree requirements convinced him to stay in school.

Hayes said he is just two semesters shy of earning a degree in consumer science.

"I haven't seen anything eye-popping yet (about his draft status), so I'm staying," he said. "There's nothing that would entice me to leave after this season."

Hayes, who sat out last season after transferring from Western Carolina with his brother Jonas, was a major reason the Bulldogs shared the SEC Eastern Division title with Florida and Kentucky.

He averaged 18.1 points, teaming with holdover Ezra Williams to give Georgia a dynamic 1-2 punch.

The No. 17 Bulldogs (21-8, 10-6 SEC) earned a bye in the first round of the conference tournament, which begins Thursday at the Georgia Dome. No matter what happens in Atlanta, Georgia will earn its second straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

Just two seasons ago, the Bulldogs finished 10-20.

"I wanted to make an impact, but not in my wildest dreams did I think it would be to this extent," Hayes said. "I just wanted to contribute to the best of my ability, and I guess the best of my ability was leading the conference in scoring."

Hayes has played alongside his brother throughout his career, and he's in no hurry to end that relationship. Jonas Hayes has been an important contributor for the Bulldogs off the bench.

"Over half of why I'm staying is because of him," Jarvis Hayes said. "Also, because my parents can come see me play."

Hayes, an Atlanta native, also wants to complete his academic work before leaving Georgia.

"It's kind of tempting" to consider the NBA, he said. "But I'm two semesters away from graduating. It's kind of like, I can wait two more semesters. One more year, or even two more years, won't hurt."

Georgia should be poised for another big season if Hayes returns. Little-used Ryan Pevey is the only senior on the roster.