Arkansas freshman Young returning to school
By KURT VOIGT
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) BJ Young is returning to Arkansas for at least one more season.
The school announced Monday night the freshman guard will bypass the NBA draft and return to school for his sophomore season.
Young said two weeks ago he was exploring whether to enter the draft after one season with the Razorbacks, during which he led Arkansas with an average of 15.3 points per game. He led all Southeastern Conference freshmen in scoring and shot 50.4 percent from the floor and was selected second-team All-SEC.
He announced his decision to stay for another season at the team's postseason awards banquet Monday night.
"I had (the decision) this morning," Young said. "I talked to my parents, told them what I wanted to do, and they supported me, so I feel good about it. It was a pretty difficult decision, it wasn't the easiest decision I ever made, but I enjoy school a lot and I am not ready to go yet."
Young had remained enrolled at Arkansas, even after submitting his name to the NBA on March 30. The 6-foot-3 guard had until Tuesday to withdraw his name or return for his sophomore season.
His contribution was critical for Arkansas (18-14), which lost leading scorer Marshawn Powell to a season-ending knee injury after two games. Young scored 28 points in an early season loss at Connecticut and later had a career-high 31 points in a loss to Florida.
The Razorbacks opened their first season under coach Mike Anderson with a school-best 17-game home winning streak. However, they dropped six of their last eight and failed to make the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight year.
Arkansas played much of the season with only eight scholarship players after Powell's injury and other injuries, but Young shined throughout - coming off the bench in 25 of the team's 32 games. The St. Louis native led the team in scoring despite averaging only 25.2 minutes per game. He was also 50 of 121 (41.3 percent) on 3-pointers.
Young originally signed with former Arkansas coach John Pelphrey before deciding to stay with the Razorbacks after Pelphrey was fired and Anderson was hired away from Missouri. He was part of a highly touted recruiting class that included Devonta Abron, Hunter Mickelson and Ky Madden, with Young the key piece.
He met with Anderson earlier Monday before announcing his decision later that night.
"I didn't think it could be any more appropriate than to (announce his decision) tonight at our appreciation banquet," Anderson said. "I wanted to make sure he had all the facts, and I know he put a lot of thought into it along with his family."
Updated April 9, 2012