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It’s official: Sampson returning to U

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Myron P. Medcalf of the Star Tribune is reporting Ralph Sampson III will not enter the NBA draft and will return to the Gophers for his last year of eligibility.

The deadline for players without agents to withdraw from the draft and retain their college eligibility was Sunday. There was much speculation this weekend that Sampson would forego his senior season with the Gophers to enter the NBA Draft. Sampson recently worked out with Michael Jordan’s trainer Tim Grover and people close to him thought he was determined to pursue his NBA dreams.

Sampson decided to return to school, however, and I expect many Gopher basketball fans are ecstatic.

The return of Sampson and fellow forward Trevor Mbakwe will give the Gophers a strong, veteran presence in the paint this upcoming season. Add the additions of junior college transfers Julian Welch (point guard) and Andre Ingram (forward) along with the freshmen duo of two Mr. Basketball state winners Joe Coleman (MN) and Andre Hollins (TN), and you may have the recipe for a very successful Gophers season.

Sampson would have been the fourth player to leave Tubby Smith’s 2008 recruiting class.

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