Davidson to Stay for Senior Year

Jermareo Davidson, the University of Alabama's 6-foot-10 All-Southeastern Conference forward has said that he intends to return to play for Alabama his senior season in 2006-07, according to a release from the University of Alabama Tuesday night.

In the release, Davidson said, "I gave it some careful thought and talked a lot about it with my mother, and we knew what was important to us. I'm on track to graduate, and that's important to me and to my family. And I want to help Alabama win championships and reach its goal of making it to the Final Four. That's always been my dream, too. I also want to work on my game and bring it to a higher level, and I know playing another season in the SEC can help me do that."

Davidson tested the NBA draft waters last year as a sophomore by declaring for the draft and later withdrawing his name from the pool. If he had declared for the draft this year there would have been no opportunity to pull out for a second time.

"I think it's a good decision," Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried said. "I think he's got a chance to be one of the premier forwards in the nation next season. He became a leader on our basketball team this past season, and I think he'll continue to mature as a player. And I'm also excited because he's on track to graduate next spring."

Most indications from those close to the basketball team were that Davidson intended on leaving. His return is a welcome respite for Gottfried having players that turn pro before they are ready. Last year Kennedy Winston declared for the draft as a junior and went undrafted.

Davidson, from Atlanta, Ga., will be a potential SEC Player of the Year candidate next season, his senior season. Davidson finished fourth in the SEC in rebounding in 2006 with his league average of 8.5 boards a game and tied-for ninth with Florida's Joakim Noah in scoring with his league game average of 15.6 points a game.

He averaged 14.3 points and 8.9 rebounds overall in 31 games this season and will go into the 2006-07 season with 91 consecutive career starts and 17 career double-doubles (including 12 in 2006). He ranks sixth all-time in career blocks at Alabama.

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