John Shurna returning to NU

Updated: May 8, 2011, 7:21 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

John Shurna has withdrawn his name from the NBA draft and will return to Northwestern for his senior season.

Shurna, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound small forward, had until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday to pull his name out of the draft to retain his college eligibility.

"This was a great opportunity for me to receive feedback on the areas of my game that I need to improve upon," Shurna said in a statement released by the school. "In the end, it's in my best interest to return to Northwestern for my senior year. I'm excited to continue playing with my teammates and work with our coaching staff as we strive to achieve our goals."

Shurna worked out in front of 26 NBA teams at the New Jersey Nets' training facility on Saturday. He was joined by Northwestern coach Bill Carmody on the trip.

"We're obviously excited to have John return for his senior season," Carmody said in a statement released by the school. "We would have supported him no matter what decision he made. He received a lot of positive feedback from the NBA programs and the whole process was a good experience for him."

Shurna will be among the front-runners for the Big Ten's player of the year next season. He averaged 16.6 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Wildcats as a junior. He had been among the nation's scoring leaders through 10 games, averaging 23.3 points before injuring his ankle in Northwestern's final non-conference game.

Shurna is one of four returning starters for Northwestern. The Wildcats reached the NIT quarterfinals last season for the first time in the program's history.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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