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Wilder to return to WMU, Thompson to EMU

The Detroit News

A couple of Mid-American basketball programs appeared to receive good news Monday.

Guard Thomas Wilder has withdrawn his name from the NBA draft, and will return to Western Michigan for his senior season. ESPN's Jeff Goodman reports forward James Thompson IV also is withdrawing from the NBA draft, citing EMU coach Rob Murphy.

Wilder and Thompson did not hire agents, leaving the option open to return to school next season.

"I think our team is going to be really good next year so I am happy about my decision to return back to Western Michigan and help try to lead this team to a Mid-American Conference championship," Wilder said in a story posted on the WMU athletic website.

"The past month has been a great learning experience in terms of seeing the business side of basketball. It really gave me new insight on how you need to approach things, that this is your business. I think that is going to help me in terms of knowing and improving on what NBA teams want to see from me.

"Before I leave Western Michigan, I want to win a MAC Championship," Wilder said in the story. "I want to hang a banner up for this community, for this program. I want to leave a mark and be remembered as one of the best ever to play at Western Michigan."

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Wilder, a senior-to-be who declared for the draft in March, was fourth in the MAC in scoring, averaging 19.3 points to earn first-team all-conference honors.

Thompson, a 6-10 senior-to-be who declared for the draft last month, started all 32 games last season for Eastern, averaging 14.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game to earn second-team all-conference honors.