According to the Raleigh News and Observer and the Associated Press, North Carolina sophomore forward Tyler Hansbrough and freshmen guards Tywon Lawson and Wayne Ellington will all return next season.
Tuesday, Hansbrough and Lawson both jokingly announced their intentions at an awards banquet. Hansbrough said, “I also have another announcement to make. I cut a deal with Coach [Roy] Williams before the banquet that I’d be back for my junior year only if he fired [assistant] Coach [Joe] Holladay.” That drew laughs from everyone in attendance. After the banquet, Hansbrough definitively stated, “I've definitely decided that I will be back (for) my junior year, Personally, I'm not ready for the next step of the NBA.”
At the banquet, Lawson said, “After thinking about things and talking to my parents, I think it would be best if I take my skills to the NBA. I’m sorry.” He then paused and said, “I’m just playing -- I’ll be back next year.” After the ceremony, more seriously, Lawson said, “I just like being a college basketball player.”
On Monday, Ellington’s dad said that his son would be returning next season.
Hansbrough averaged 18.4 points and 7.9 rebounds; Lawson averaged 10.2 points and 5.6 assists; and Ellington put up 11.7 points per game.