2.23.19 LSU celebtating

LSU freshman guard Ja'vonte Smart (1) celebrates after the Tigers 82-80 victory over Tennesse on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.

Freshman guard Javonte Smart was one of six LSU players to enter their name into the NBA draft, and he's now the first to remove his name.

Smart announced his intention to return to school via Instagram Saturday afternoon.

The Baton Rouge native averaged 11 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 30 minutes per game in 2019. He helped lead LSU to a regular season Southeastern Conference championship and a Sweet Sixteen appearance.

Smart said he it was likely he would return to school, following LSU's loss to Michigan State in the NCAA tournament on March 29, but he entered his name into the draft on April 11.

"After meeting with my family and coaching staff, I have decided to enter the NBA draft to pursue my dream as a professional basketball player," Smart wrote at the time. "I will continue to put in work and keep faith in God. This has been something I have waited for all my life.

"Becoming a Tiger was the best decision I have made in life so far. Being with my brothers and LSU family has been a wonderful experience that I could never forget. Boot Up!"

Under new rules players have up to 10 days after the NBA combine to remove their name from the draft pool and return to college so long as they filed an evaluation with the NBA's Undergraduate Advisory Committee.

Smart was not invited to the NBA combine and it is unclear if he visited with any NBA teams, but with the looming loss of sophomore point guard Tremont Waters, Smart will be thrust into the lead guard role.

He performed well in place of Waters, who dealt with a late season injury, and led LSU to a historic 82-80 overtime-win against then No. 5 Tennessee. Smart had 29 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals against the Volunteers and followed that performance up with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals against Texas A&M.

In his last four regular season games, Smart averaged 20 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

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