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Mitchell set to see more minutes as 3

LSU Tigers coach Trent Johnson's plan was to move Tasmin Mitchell to his more natural small forward position to enhance his blossoming perimeter skills -- if he decided to withdraw from the NBA draft.

Sunday, he did.

The fourth-year junior forward told ESPN.com Sunday night that he would withdraw from the draft and return for his senior season.

"I'm going back to school," Mitchell said. "I'll take care of [the paperwork with the NBA] Monday."

Monday, he did. Johnson said he met with Mitchell on Monday morning and they faxed the appropriate paperwork to the NBA.

The deadline to withdraw is June 15 for the draft on June 25.

"I want to come back to school to better myself at the 3 position," Mitchell said. "It can't hurt me. I'm going to put this team on my back and win some ballgames."

Mitchell is the third high-profile SEC player to withdraw from the NBA draft within the past month. All three -- Kentucky's Patrick Patterson and Mississippi State's Jarvis Varnado -- are likely first-team all-
SEC players and will compete for preseason SEC player of the year. Kentucky junior guard Jodie Meeks could join the trio if he decides to return in the next eight days.

Mitchell said he plans on spending the summer shuffling between Baton Rouge -- taking classes -- and Houston -- working on his perimeter skills with former NBA coach and player John Lucas.

Mitchell said he had tweaked his ankle after a workout in Minnesota and decided to cancel workouts in Portland and New Orleans over the weekend as well as one for next week in New Jersey.

Mitchell will be expected to lead the Tigers in Johnson's second season at LSU after three of five starters exhausted their eligibility. Gone from the 27-win, outright SEC regular-season champs are senior guard and SEC player of the year Marcus Thornton -- a possible first-round draft pick -- and role players in wing Garrett Temple and center Chris Johnson. Mitchell joins guard Bo Spencer as returnees in the starting lineup.

Mitchell was on the 2006 LSU Final Four team with current NBA players Glen Davis (Boston) and Tyrus Thomas (Chicago). Two seasons ago, Mitchell played in only three games because of an injured ankle that required surgery.

According to Johnson, Mitchell is close to graduating and the school confirmed that he would be on track to get his degree sometime next season (either in December or May). If he were to average 16 or 17 points a game, then he would have a real shot to become the school's third-leading scorer behind Pete Maravich and Rudy Macklin. He averaged 13.8 points his first 106 games (16.3 last season).

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.