Thursday, May 22, 2008

McNeal Withdraws from NBA Draft

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Marquette junior guard Jerel McNeal has announced he will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to the Golden Eagles for his senior season. "I felt after yesterday and thinking about things and weighing all the options, it was the best decision," McNeal said. "I've still got things here I want to accomplish and goals to work toward. Getting better on the court and off the court, in the classroom, and winning championships with my teammates." He was not invited to the pre-draft camp in Orlando, and it is not a guarantee that he would have been drafted at all. "I've got one year left and an opportunity to do some great things here that's going to be very important to me here down the line," McNeal said. "I think staying here and being here for another year is much more important than actually going through that whole process, trying to squeeze out a spot when people may not necessarily want you. I think it's just the best thing to do."

He is looking forward to next season, when Marquette will return four of its five starters. "We're a team that was a shot away from being in the Sweet 16," McNeal said. "We're excited going into this year knowing that we can be even better. We return the core group of guys that we made a run with, and we've got some new guys coming in that I think are going to help us along the way, too. So I'm just excited about the whole thing." He averaged 14.9 points and 2.2 steals per game last season.

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