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Georgia hoop star Leslie returning for junior season

Photo by Tricia Spaulding

Photo by Tricia Spaulding

ATHENS --- University of Georgia basketball player Travis Leslie will not enter his name as a candidate for the 2010 NBA Draft and will return for the 2010-11 season with the Bulldogs, Leslie announced Wednesday.

"I've decided to return to Georgia for my junior season," Leslie said. "After talking about it with my family and coaches, I believe it's the best decision for me. I enjoy being at Georgia and being part of the Georgia program. I think we have a chance to have a great season next year. Right now, I just want to continue working hard to improve as a player and help us become a great program at Georgia."

Leslie was arguably the most improved in the Southeastern Conference this past season. He averaged 14.8 points per game -- 2nd best on the team and a 6.5-point increase from his freshman year -- and 6.8 rebounds. He ended the season on a high note by scoring a career-high 34 points in an SEC Tournament second-round loss to Vanderbilt. Leslie also led the Bulldogs with a total of 30 dunks, five of which were featured among ESPN's "Top 10 Plays of the Day."

"We're pleased with the progress that Travis has made in the past year and very excited about what his future holds," Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. "He continues to have a very mature approach to things, not just in basketball but in all aspects of his life. We look forward to seeing Travis become the best player he can be."

Another top Georgia sophomore, forward Trey Thompkins, is still considering whether to enter the NBA Draft. Thompkins was a first-team All-SEC selection.