Thursday , Apr , 01 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Almond returns to Rice

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – University of Rice guard Morris Almond
withdrew his name for the 2006 NBA Draft and will return to school.

“A phenomenal opportunity awaits me and the team next year and that is primed
to have one of the best seasons in school history,” said Almond. “Plus the
fact that I am on pace to graduate as well as to enhance my status for next
year’s draft, this was the best decision for me.”

Almond, who was Conference USA’s leading scorer last season with 21.9 points
per game, declared himself eligible on April 17 but did not hire an agent.

“It’s the biggest recruit of the year for our program and maybe the biggest
recruit of the decade for our program,” said Rice head basketball coach Willis
Wilson. “Morris is knocking on the door of achieving a great dream to play in
the NBA…He’s also on the verge of receiving his degree from one the great
institutions in the country.”

The 6-foot-6, 215 pound senior worked out Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix, Golden
State and the Los Angeles Lakers.

“In the end it ultimately came down to the feedback that I received,”
continued Almond. “For a lot of teams it was their first time to see me on a
national stage (in Orlando) and they were curious because of the numbers I had
put up during the season. It also came down to being a second round pick this
year or come back and with another year of seasoning and be a first round pick
next year.”