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Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Vols' Lofton confirms he's staying in Knoxville

ESPN.com news services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee guard Chris Lofton, the Southeastern Conference player of the year, will stay for his senior season.

"Coming back for my senior year will give me the opportunity to work on my game so I can become a better player. There are also a lot of things that we can accomplish here as a team," Lofton said in a statement.

Lofton said Tuesday he wasn't projected high enough in the upcoming NBA draft to warrant leaving school early.

"I think I knew all along I was coming back anyway,'' he said during a news conference with coach Bruce Pearl. "It was just a little part of me in my mind of waiting to see how everything shakes out. I'm not surprised by this.''

Competing against a large number of draft-eligible big men, Lofton was projected to be a second-round pick.

Lofton led the SEC in scoring at 20.8 points a game and in 3-pointers per game at 3.42. Pearl said he envisions Lofton becoming more of a combo guard next season and even sharing some of the point guard duties.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.