Shurna withdraws from NBA Draft, will return for senior season

Colin Becht

Junior forward John Shurna withdrew his name from consideration for the 2011 NBA Draft after initially declaring for the draft on April 19.

Shurna, who did not hire an agent when he declared to give himself the option of returning to Northwestern, worked out for NBA teams but was unlikely to be selected in the first round.

“This was a great opportunity for me to receive feedback on the areas of my game that I need to improve upon,” Shurna said in a statement. “In the end, it’s in my best interest to return to Northwestern for my senior year.”

The junior averaged 16.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this past season, earning him a third-team All-Big Ten nod. Shurna compiled 23.3 points per game through the Wildcats’ first 10 games of the season before suffering an ankle injury that continued to hinder him throughout the rest of the season. He was named to the All-Big Ten second team in his sophomore season when he set a school record for points in a season with 619.

“We’re obviously excited to have John return for his senior season,” coach Bill Carmody said in a statement. “We would have supported him no matter what decision he made. He received a lot of positive feedback from the NBA programs and the whole process was a good experience for him.”

Shurna’s return to Welsh-Ryan Arena will be a major boost to NU’s prospects in the 2011-12 season as the Cats will need Shurna to assume an even larger role with the departure of guard Michael Thompson.