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Friday, October 31, 2014 | Last updated: 5:55pm


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Dawson returning to MSU for senior season




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Junior guard/forward Branden Dawson talks to the media after the game against Connecticut on March 30, 2014, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Spartans lost in the Elite Eight, 60-54. Julia Nagy/The State News



Junior guard/forward Branden Dawson announced his decision to return to MSU for his senior season on Tuesday afternoon, according to a release from the MSU athletics department.

Dawson averaged more than 11 points and a team-leading 8.3 rebounds for the Spartans this past season.

Dawson missed 10 games this past season, including nine in a row after breaking his hand after hitting a table while watching film in January.

In MSU's NCAA Tournament run to the Elite Eight, Dawson averaged 16 points and almost nine rebounds.

"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," he said, adding that he and his mom visited with Izzo during the process and finalized the decision to stay.

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Dawson said he worked in the last year to improve both his shooting and ballhandling, skills he hopes to develop further in the future.

Izzo said he conducted his "due diligence" in researching Dawson's NBA draft prospects, but before getting too far into the process, Dawson and his mom approached him and expressed Dawson's desire to return for his senior year.

"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," Izzo said. "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.”


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