Jordan McRae returning to Tennessee for senior season

Tennessee star Jordan McRae said Saturday that he has decided to return for his senior season rather than explore professional basketball opportunities.

"I'm not ready for my experience at Tennessee to be over," McRae said in a statement released by the school minutes after he actually broke the news himself on a radio show hosted by Steven Pearl, the son of his former UT coach, Bruce Pearl. "I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a part of next year's team, because I think we have a chance to have a great season. I also think there are aspects of my game I can improve by spending another year with my coaches and teammates here at Tennessee."

McRae led the Vols in scoring (15.7 points per game) and minutes played (33.6 minutes per game) this season. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 19.2 points in conference to make first team All-SEC. He put a career-high 35 points on Georgia in Athens on March 2.

"I'm happy that Jordan is coming back, and I also think he was smart to request an evaluation of his draft status after the season he had," said Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin. "In the two years I've been here at Tennessee, I've been very impressed with Jordan's development on and off the court. I think he has a chance to go down as one of the truly special players at UT if he continues to work like he has the past two years."

This development means Tennessee will return its top four scorers from last season -- plus Jeronne Maymon, who was second on the team in scoring in 2011-12 before missing all of this season with an injury -- provided Jarnell Stokes also returns to school. Stokes is a sophomore big who averaged 12.4 points and 9.6 rebounds this season. His return would cement the Vols' place in the preseason Top 25 (and one).

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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