Kingsley withdraws name from NBA draft, returns to Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Arkansas got a boost on Monday when Moses Kingsley announced he had decided to withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return for his senior season with the Razorbacks.

Kingsley, a 6-foot-10 center from Nigeria, was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, averaging 15.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in his first season as a starter. He also averaged 2.4 blocks per game and shot 54.8 percent from the field before entering the draft last month without hiring an agent.

Kingsley had until May 25 to withdraw his name and keep his eligibility for next season. It's a welcome development for the Razorbacks after they went 16-16 and missed the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons under coach Mike Anderson.

''I am thankful for the opportunity to go through the draft process, but I'm excited to return to Arkansas for my senior year,'' Kingsley said. ''I feel like I can continue to improve and put myself in a better position for the future.''

The potential departure of Kingsley left many Arkansas fans uncertain about Anderson's future - particularly after the offseason transfers of Jimmy Whitt and Lorenzo Jenkins. Anderson has signed a recruiting class that includes three of the top junior-college players in the country, but Kingsley's return provides Arkansas with a proven post presence entering next season.

The junior scored in double figures in all but two games for the Razorbacks this season, including a career-high 26 points in a loss to Dayton. He had 11 rebounds in that game, one of his 16 double-doubles on the season.

''Moses got the feedback he needed, and we are thrilled to have one of the best players in the SEC returning for his senior season,'' Anderson said. ''If he improves this year as much as he did last year, he has a chance to be one of the best players in the country.''

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