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Point guard will return for his final season

Chris Hernandez decided to pull out of
this month's NBA draft and will return to play a final season at
Stanford.

Hernandez, who decided in April to test his value in the draft,
filed paperwork last Friday with the NBA declaring his intention to
stay in school.

"This spring was a great learning experience and I'm hoping the
improvements I made will carry over into next season," Hernandez
said Monday.

A point guard, Hernandez averaged 15.2 points and 4.0 assists per game last
season for Stanford, leading the depleted Cardinal to a third-place
finish in the Pac-10 and an NCAA Tournament berth.

Stanford (18-13) struggled early in coach Trent Johnson's first
season but recovered down the stretch despite losing leading scorer
Dan Grunfeld to a knee injury Feb. 12.

Hernandez played a key role, scoring a career-high 37 points in
a 78-65 win over UCLA on Feb. 20 and averaging 19 points over the
last eight games.

Stanford is projected as one of the top teams in the conference
next season behind the trio of Hernandez, Grunfeld and Matt
Haryasz.

"Chris is coming back to a great environment at Stanford next
year and will be able to be a part of what we feel could be a
pretty good basketball team," Johnson said. "We look forward to
the strong leadership he will provide the team next season."

Other draft updates
" Tiago Splitter, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Brazil, will pull out of the NBA draft even though he was expected to be a Top 10 selection. Splitter was unable to get out of his contract in Spain, and there are indications he will attempt to negotiate a buyout in time to enter the 2006 draft.

" Martynas Andriuskevicius, a 7-foot-3 center from Lithuania will stay in the draft. Andriuskevicius was advised by Arvydas Sabonis and Zydrunas Ilgauskus, both from his hometown of Kaunas, Lithuania, that he should stay in the draft no matter where he is projected to be selected.

Information from ESPN Radio's Doug Gottlieb was used in this report.