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LET'S GO!: Isaiah Canaan decides to return for senior season

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Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 5:04 am | Updated: 5:05 am, Fri Apr 6, 2012.

For the second time in just over a week, Murray State fans can breathe

again. With head coach Steve Prohm announcing his intentions to remain

a Racer on March 26, star point guard Isaiah Canaan followed suit

yesterday afternoon, bypassing the NBA Draft for a final go round in

the collegiate ranks.

That said, in many ways, yesterday’s announcement started taking shape

with Prohm’s decision.

“(Coach Prohm coming back) played a big role,” Canaan said, “I can't

lie. If he had left, then there was a good possibility I was gone

also. With him staying, I feel comfortable about me trying to come

back and giving him one more year because he believed in me. I want to

try and get back and help him the best way I can and with me staying,

I feel like I can do that.”

He’ll get that chance soon. With a roster that will look very similar

to the ones fans are used to seeing, he’ll have his work cut out for

him in his quest for a fourth straight conference championship.

Though the Racers do say goodbye to three seniors in fan favorites

Ivan Aska, Donte Poole and Jewuan Long, they welcome a five-player

class that includes some much needed size with three forwards 6-foot-7

or taller. Canaan will be expected to lead and position that team for

an even deeper NCAA tournament run.

As for what the NBA scouts advised him to work on, Canaan mentioned a

couple of things but noted that for the most part, they loved how his

game looks right now.

“Getting feedback from them, they love my game,” he said with a smile.

“They said I can work on alot of my midrange game, pull ups here and

there, finding the open guys and some of my decision making. Those are

the areas that they said, but overall, they really loved how I

played.”

That was evident with the projection he was given. Slated to come off

the board anywhere between 25 to 40 in this year’s draft had he

declared, Canaan noted that now the goal is to get better. If he does,

he says the lottery could be a possibility next summer.

“They felt like that me coming back I could be lock for a first round

pick next year,” he said. “so I felt like taking that in with all

these camps and a whole nother season with good players, I could help

my stock. A lot of people that might not have thought I was a

legitimate first round pick, they'll know that next year. When you

talk about money wise, the first round is always guaranteed money and

seven, six figure contracts. With me coming back and possibly being a

lottery pick next year, you always take those into mind (but) I want

to come back and try to win another ring and make another run in the

NCAA tournament. I felt like me staying was the right thing to do and

I could get my degree so I can kill a lot of birds with one stone.”

Still, after averaging 19 points per game and shooting 45.6 percent

from 3-point range, good for third in the nation among players with at

least 200 attempts from beyond the arc, how much more can the reigning

OVC Player of the Year do to prove  himself?

Murray State fans will find out.

“I'll never be satisfied with my game,” Canaan said. “I'm going to

work on all aspects of my game and try to better myself as a player

also.”

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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