LSU's Jordan Mickey announces he'll be back for sophomore season

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

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One of the best forwards in the SEC will stay in the league next season.

In truth, Jordan Mickey looked to be one of the 10 best freshmen in the country for most of last season. Because of that, some wondered if he'd take the one-and-done route in college. But on Wednesday Mickey, who earned SEC Second Team honors, announced via press conference that he'd bypass opportunities for this year's NBA Draft and instead return to LSU for a second season.

Mickey averaged 12.7 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Bayou Bengals, who finished their season at 20-14 after falling in the NIT to eventual runners-up SMU. Our Gary Parrish pegged Mickey at No. 51 in his most recent mock draft.

Behind Mickey and fellow freshman forward Jarell Martin, LSU will have a frontcourt that's a notch below -- but still very good -- Kentucky and Florida in the SEC. The Tigers will have hopes on being third or fourth in the SEC now that Mickey's coming back. This certainly helps the SEC, which could use a team or two to join the ranks of UK and UF in terms of national attention.

The Tigers did already lose one player this month, junior Johnny O'Bryant, to early entry for the draft.

Per LSU, Mickey joined Shaquille O'Neal this past season as the only players in program history to block more than 100 shots in one season.

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