Missouri basketball junior Lawrence Bowers announced his intentions Wednesday to withdraw his name from the 2011 NBA Draft and return to Columbia for his senior season, according to a news release from the Missouri athletics department.
The second-highest scorer for the Tigers in 2010, Bowers led Missouri in rebounding (6.1 per game) and finished second-best in the Big 12 with 62 blocked shots.
By returning, Bowers could reach some prestigious records. He needs just 162 points to join the MU 1,000-point club, and could join Arthur Johnson as the only players in school history with 1,000 points, 150 blocks and 100 steals.
"This has been a positive experience for me," Bowers said in the news release. "I wanted to get some feedback on what areas of my game I needed to work on and that happened, but the bottom line is that I am looking forward to my senior season at Missouri. I have really enjoyed working with our new coaching staff and as a senior class we have a lot of great opportunities ahead of us."
Shortly after Bowers’ announcement, fellow junior Kim English announced via Twitter he had also removed his name from the draft. English averaged 10.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game last season.
“Gonna (sic) play my senior season and Graduate from The Univ of Missouri, and make it the best season of my 4 in Columbia,” English’s Twitter page said.
Both Bowers and English declared for the draft in early April amidst coaching change. Because they did not hire agents, however, they maintained college eligibility and could return to the university if they withdrew from the draft by May 8th.
The news comes on the heels of coach Frank Haith’s announcement on Wednesday that freshman point guard Phil Pressey would return for his sophomore season. This means Missouri will return all top-six scoring leaders next season, as well as fielding seven seniors.