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March 28, 2012
As widely reported, University of Memphis Tigers freshman and former McDonald's high school All-American Adonis Thomas announced he'll return for his sophomore season on Wednesday. Citing 'unfinished business' as his reason to give fans and supporters of the program one more season, Thomas felt it was better for him to stay.
"I stayed because it was the best decision for my family and for the team we have coming back," Thomas said. "I was wavering because of the injury that I had and the scouts didn't really get a chance to evaluate me the way that they needed to."
Not only did Thomas's ankle play a big part in him deciding to play another year, but scouts were saying that his stock wasn't as high because he wasn't exposed enough. Thomas noted that he was expected to be anywhere from a late first-round pick to not even being selected at all.
But also, Thomas also feels as though he let city of Memphis down because they didn't get to see him play a lot of games.
"I felt like I owe the city another year," Thomas said. "The injury just held me back this year. I wasn't able to be a part of the team. There's a lot of unfinished business left, and I hate losing."
One person who is relieved that Thomas is returning is head coach Josh Pastner. Pastner, who is entering his fourth year as Tigers head coach, knows how important this announcement is to the future of the team.
"We're extremely pleased and excited to have him back," Pastner said. "That just makes our team much better, but it will also do much for Adonis as he continues to grow as a young man and as a basketball player - a real positive for Memphis, there's no doubt about that."
Tigers' fans probably should get too comfortable seeing Thomas beyond next season. If his sophomore season goes the way he and everyone anticipates, then he could be the next two-and-done after next season, following the footsteps of sophomore Will Barton, who announced his intentions to turn pro last week.
"Going to the (NBA draft) lottery is something that every basketball player dreams about," Thomas said. "I want to do everything I can do to put myself in the position to go lottery next year."
Click the hyperlink below to listen to the complete audio file of Adonis' comments to the media Wednesday afternoon.
32812 Adonis press conference
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