MU forward Leo Lyons has withdrawn his name from the 2008 Draft on Thursday and will be returning to Columbia for his senior season, a statement from the MU athletic department said. “I just felt like it was the right decision,” Lyons said in the statement. “I really want to graduate, and by staying at Missouri, that will happen. Graduating is a goal that has been important to both my mom and I, so that weighed heavily into my decision.”
“Second, I want to become the best basketball player I can be. This process over the last two weeks has allowed me to get feedback from NBA organizations and now I get a chance to use that to my advantage.”
Lyons and DeMarre Carroll made themselves eligible for the NBA Draft on April 24. There was no word on whether Carroll would also be removing his name from the draft and returning for his senior season.
Lyons finished this season with some impressive performances - highlighted by consecutive games with more than 20 points and 15 or more rebounds against Oklahoma State and Baylor.
“Leo was able to go test the waters, get feedback about his NBA status and now he can use that to his advantage,” coach Mike Anderson said in the statement. “He went through the proper channels to get the information and that’s going to allow him to focus on becoming the best basketball player he can be next season.”
Next season Lyons will be the Tigers’ top returning scorer with 13.1 points per game this past year.