Leslie Coming Back to Georgia

Leslie Coming Back to Georgia

ATHENS - Travis Leslie didn't let the drama build for too long.

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The sophomore guard announced Wednesday that he would remain at Georgia for his junior season rather than enter the NBA draft.

"After talking about it with my family and coaches, I believe it's the best decision for me," Leslie said in a release by the school. "I enjoy being at Georgia and being part of the Georgia program. I think we have a chance to have a great season next year. Right now, I just want to continue working hard to improve as a player and help us become a great program at Georgia."

The move isn't a huge surprise, but Leslie had considered the NBA as an option after his draft value rose dramatically during a much improved sophomore campaign last season.

After averaging 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in just 14 minutes per game as a freshman in 2008-09, Leslie blossomed under first-year coach Mark Fox.

As a sophomore, he scored 14.8 points per game and pulled down 6.8 rebounds per contest -- both good for second on the team and top-15 numbers in the SEC.

Leslie garnered national attention for his signature dunks throughout the season, several of which earned him top-10 honors on ESPN's "SportsCenter" and helped make Georgia a more recognizable program, Fox said.

"Winning certainly has been the biggest part, but to have Travis on a top 10, we've had a lot of comments about that," Fox said. "That's attention that has been good for us and our program. It's been good publicity, it's been national recognition, and that was very healthy for our team."

In his final career game, Leslie led Georgia with a career-high 34 points in a loss to Vanderbilt in the second round of the SEC tournament. Afterward, Leslie promised to consult with family, friends and coaches on what avenue would be best for his career, and Fox said he is pleased with the final decision.

"We're pleased with the progress that Travis has made in the past year and very excited about what his future holds," Fox said in a release. "He continues to have a very mature approach to things, not just in basketball but in all aspects of his life. We look forward to seeing Travis become the best player he can be."

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