Morehead State University basketball star Kenneth Faried will remove his name from the NBA Draft and return for his senior season.
MSU Coach Donnie Tyndall said the reigning Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year informed him of his decision late Friday morning in a three-way phone call that included the player's mother, Waudda.
"Kenneth learned a tremendous amount about himself as a player going through the draft process," Tyndall said Friday afternoon. "I think mostly he just feels relieved to have his decision made and have a plan going forward."
In a Morehead State news release, Faried said, "I am very happy to be coming back to MSU. ... I will work as hard as I possibly can to achieve our team goals and my individual goals and, most importantly, to fulfill my promise to my Mom to graduate so she can see me walk across that stage and receive my degree next May."
Faried, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound post player, averaged 16.9 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.6 steals this past season as a junior while recording 25 double-doubles.
The Morehead standout is known for his bouncy athleticism and a high-energy approach to his game.
In going through the NBA Draft evaluation process, "teams told Kenneth that what makes him attractive is his rebounding and the way his motor runs full speed," Tyndall said.
"What they told him to work on, is adding range to his (jump shot), go from 15 feet to 17 feet," Tyndall said. "Improve as a foul shooter, go from 60 percent to 75 percent. Cut down on turnovers. Just become a more skilled player.
"And they told him they want to see him build his strength and endurance so he can do the things that make him good in the first place longer."
As a sophomore in 2008-09, Faried was the anchor of the Morehead team that earned the school's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1984. With its big man back in blue and gold, MSU will probably be tapped the primary challenger to defending OVC champion Murray State in 2010-11.
Said Tyndall: "We're very excited. I told Kenneth, we'd start working on his goals: Being (OVC) Player of the Year again. Being an All-American. And earning that college degree."