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Eric Moreland withdraws name from NBA Draft, returns to Oregon State

Eric Moreland

Oregon State’s Eric Moreland (15) dunks the ball against Colorado during the first half of a Pac-12 Conference tournament NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


Oregon State announced Monday afternoon that forward Eric Moreland will return to the Beavers program for his junior season, pulling his name out of the 2013 NBA Draft.

“I have done a lot of talking with my family and I’ve been in coach’s office a numerous amount of times trying to weigh out the pros and cons of leaving or staying,” Moreland said. “I have decided that I want to withdraw my name and continue as an Oregon State Beaver. I have a great group of guys here and we have a really special team, not only on the court, but we have chemistry that you just want to be a part of. I would love to come back another year and play with them and get to the NCAA tournament and have a great year.”

The 6-10, 215-pound redshirt sophomore averaged 9.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and set a program record with 2.5 blocked shots per game last season. He’s already second in the Beavers’ record books with 145 career blocks. He was named to the Pac-12 Conference All-Defensive Team as an honorable mention as a result.

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

Craig Robinson will need Moreland back next season, which could prove to be one that leads to his firing or an extension after going 14-18 this year. Six players who played extensive minutes are expected to be back for Oregon State, including five of their top six scorers, with Devon Collier (12.6 points per game) and Roberto Nelson (17.8 points) leading the way.

With an additional year to improve his offensive numbers, he was fifth on the team in scoring and shot just 56.6 percent from the free throw line last season, Moreland could be a fringe first rounder next season.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten