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Pruitt bluffs at NBA Draft
Indiana's D.J. White, right, guards Illinois' Shaun Pruitt during the second half of their basketball game at the Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill. on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007.(AP Photo/Robin Scholz)

CHAMPAIGN - University of Illinois center Shaun Pruitt will return to the Illini basketball program for his senior season after withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft on Sunday, the school announced.

"At this stage in my career I feel it would be best to return to the U of I men's basketball program and help my teammates prepare for another winning season," Pruitt said in a statement. "During this process of evaluating my pro potential, I appreciate the support I received from my family, friends, fans and the Illinois athletic program.

I'd also like to thank the NBA organizations that took the time to evaluate me and provide valuable feedback."

Pruitt averaged 11.4 points and 7.5 rebounds a game for the Illini last season.

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