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Randolph says he plans to return

Shavlik Randolph’s flirtation with an early exit from Duke seems to be nearing a conclusion.

The forward, who May 13 declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft, said Monday that he would likely return for his senior season with the Blue Devils.

“My intentions are to come back to Duke because I think we’ll have a chance to do something special next year,” Randolph told the Associated Press following a workout with the Charlotte Bobcats. “I don’t want to rule out any options, but that’s been my intention all along.”

Though he has worked out for several professional teams, Randolph was not invited to attend the pre-draft camp in Chicago, which began June 7, and he has not hired an agent.

The Raleigh native put his name into consideration for the June 28 draft following his least productive offensive year as a Blue Devil. Randolph averaged 4.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during the 2004-2005 season and missed four games while suffering from mononucleosis.

Though heralded as a recruit, Randolph has not lived up to expectations due to struggles with injury and illness throughout his Duke career, including major hip surgery following his freshman season.

“I feel as good as I’ve felt since before I could drive,” the 21-year-old told the News & Observer.

Teams have told Randolph that he needs to improve his lower body strength and lateral movement, according to the N&O.

“When I am not working out, I am back in Raleigh and back in Durham and still in communication with all the coaches and players,” Randolph told the AP.

Randolph must withdraw from the draft prior to June 21 to retain college eligibility next season. He told the AP that he would probably wait until that date to announce his final decision.

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