Scottie Reynolds had to choose between the known and the unknown.
The known was Villanova, coming off a Final Four, sure to be in every preseason Top 10. He also knows he is a lock to be his school's eighth 2,000-point scorer, to become a rare four-time first-team all-Big 5 selection with a chance to add to a legacy that already includes that game-winner in Boston nobody will ever forget.
The unknown was the NBA. Where would he be drafted? Would he be drafted? Would they like him? Would he like them?
Reynolds, who arrived on the Main Line with uncommon maturity, showed it again by choosing the known. He is removing his name from the NBA draft and will be back for his senior season. Reynolds told his teammates last week and everybody else yesterday.
"Coming back to school was the intelligent decision, especially with the guys we have coming back and the guys that we're bringing in," Reynolds said yesterday afternoon at the Davis Center, Villanova's basketball facility. "This team is on a mission to accomplish great things, and I want to be a part of that."
Reynolds has scored 1,620 points in three seasons, during which the Wildcats have won 74 games, including six NCAA wins and that Final Four appearance.
If Reynolds had heard first round from the NBA, his decision likely would have been different. He would like to have heard "lottery." But neither he nor his coach was hearing any of that.
"If you're not a first-round pick . . . I have a good chance to be on one of the top teams in the country," Reynolds said. "I didn't want to sell myself short."
They will hold the draft next June, too.
"It was good for Scottie to learn, it was very consistent that if he came out, he'd probably get drafted in the second round, that it was a point guard-heavy draft," Villanova coach Jay Wright said.
Reynolds is happy to get this behind him, and that he no longer has to answer the will-he-or-won't-he question.
"People can stop asking me every time I order something, do something," he said. "Every time, it's 'Yo, what are you doing?' "
Now, everybody knows. Right now, he will be taking a little break from basketball after working out for several NBA teams.
Wright lost three seniors who were a huge part of the team's success. Without Reynolds, his only senior next season would have been Reggie Redding.
"I'm happy for Villanova, I'm happy for Scottie," Wright said. "I know he'd make an intelligent decision. I think it's the right thing for him in his career. But you have to trust him to make that decision. And he did."
Reynolds wants to win some more games at Villanova. And he wants to get better.
"I definitely have some things to work on," Reynolds said. "I think everybody does. When you say you don't, you need to stop playing the game of basketball." *