MSU basketball: Branden Dawson returning for senior year

MSU basketball’s 2014-2015 hopes increased dramatically with today’s announcement from Branden Dawson that he will return to East Lansing for his senior year.

Here are the quotes from the press release sent out from MSU shortly after 5pm tonight, approximately 24 hours after Gary Harris declared that he was foregoing his final two seasons of eligibility at MSU.

Branden Dawson:

“I was always pretty sure that I wanted to return for my senior season, but Coach Izzo said he would do what he does for all his players and gather some information. As he started making calls, my mom came up and we met with Coach. The three of us decided that as far as my basketball career, both present and future, and the chance to finish my degree, including possibly needing to take just one class during my final semester, that my initial decision was the correct one. I’m vowing to improve my consistency and am looking forward to a great final season.

“This last year, I made some big improvements in my game as I’ve worked on my shooting and ball handling. I know that with another offseason of hard work that I can make even more improvement and become more consistent. After not being able to work on my game between my freshman and sophomore seasons due to an injury, I saw what a difference a summer can make last year. I’m ready to put in another summer of work and excited to see the results. I think I played some of the best basketball of my career over the last month, and I can’t wait to do that every game next season.”

Tom Izzo:

“As I always do for players with NBA prospects, I did my due diligence of gathering information regarding Branden Dawson’s draft status. But before I could get deep into the process, B.J. and his mom came to me and expressed his desire to return for his senior season. I’m excited about his decision because he expressed to me his passion to be more consistent and perform at a high level each and every night. If you look at his numbers over the last seven or eight games, including averaging 16 points and nearly nine rebounds in the NCAA Tournament, I think the outlook is very promising for his senior season. As he continues to develop as a player and perform with greater consistency, he can position himself for a successful NBA career in the future.”