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Hammons to return to Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue basketball fans' stress level has been eased somewhat after 7-foot center A.J. Hammons announced Wednesday afternoon that he will return for his junior season after considering entering the NBA Draft.

"I've decided to stay and continue my education here at Purdue, and there are a lot of goals I still want to accomplish with my teammates on the court," Hammons said after a Wednesday afternoon meeting with head coach Matt Painter.

"First and foremost, we want to get back to the postseason and compete for a Big Ten title. I feel like we owe our fans some better basketball. Purdue is a special place with a lot of great people, and I am excited to continue my education here and be a part of a great community."

Hammons averaged 10.8 points and 7.4 rebounds to go with 96 blocked shots during a sophomore season in which the Boilermakers finished 15-17.

According to Painter, NBA officials had told him that Hammons likely was a mid-to-late second round selection, or might go undrafted if he decided to leave school.

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