It's Official: Tar Heel Trio Returning

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Ty Lawson have decided to withdraw from the 2008 NBA Draft and return to Chapel Hill for the 2008-09 season, head coach Roy Williams announced on Monday.

The trio had entered their names into the NBA Draft pool in April but did not hire agents, leaving open the possibility of returning to school. The deadline to withdraw from the draft was 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday.

"After a long and exhaustive process of gathering information and sharing it with these youngsters, I stepped back and asked them to make their own decisions," Williams said on Monday afternoon. "I'm very pleased with their decisions because I get to coach them for another year. I'm also pleased that they went through the process and gained valuable information. It was reassuring that the feedback they got from the NBA teams is the same type of feedback our coaching staff has been giving them.

"It was a lengthy process, but one that is fair for these youngsters. Everyone should have the right to be evaluated in terms of possibly reaching his dreams. I feel strongly that all of these young men will eventually be NBA players. The timing was just not exactly right at this point. They had my 100 percent support throughout the process, regardless of which decision they might have made."

Ellington, who completed his sophomore season in 2007-08, has scored 1,092 points, was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2007-08 and has earned ACC All-Tournament Team honors in both seasons. He scored a career-best 36 points in a dramatic overtime win at Clemson, scored 20 or more points nine times as a sophomore and has the ninth-best free throw percentage in Carolina history.

"After going through this process and gaining valuable information then discussing my future with my family as well as Coach Williams, it was an easy decision for me to come back to the University of North Carolina because of my love for the University and my teammates," Ellington said on Monday. "I am looking forward to working toward our goal of winning a national championship."

A rising senior, Green has compiled 871 points and 412 rebounds in three seasons, averaging 8.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He led the team as a junior in free throw percentage at .873 and was second in three-point field goals made with 56. He is 10th all-time in blocked shots at UNC with 104.

"I have decided to withdraw my name from the 2008 NBA Draft," Green said on Monday. "The process of ‘testing the waters' has given me valuable information and a great experience of what the NBA process is like. This was an easy decision for me because I'm going to enjoy my senior season with great teammates and our great coaching staff for one more year."

Lawson, a rising junior, has averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 assists in his first two seasons. The Clinton, Md., native directed an offense that was second nationally in scoring and led the ACC in scoring, field goal percentage, assists and assist-turnover ratio. He shot 51.5 percent from the floor and 835 percent from the free throw line this year and helped Carolina average 886 points per game en route to winning a school-record 36 games.

"I have withdrawn from the 2008 Draft," Lawson said on Monday afternoon. "The process of ‘testing the waters' has given me valuable information about my draft status, and I have decided it would be better to return to school. I love school, my teammates and coaching staff. I look forward to playing next season and trying to win a national championship."

Carolina went 36-3 in 2007-08, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and Tournament titles and reaching its 17th NCAA Final Four.

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