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CHARLOTTESVILLEVirginia men’s head basketball coach Dave Leitao announced on Monday (Aug. 18) that center Tunji Soroye is returning and will be a member of the 2008-09 team. Leitao also announced that forward Laurynas Mikalauskas is no longer a member of the Virginia team.

The 6-11 Soroye is from Dugbe Ibadan, Nigeria. He played in only two games for UVa in his fourth year in the program last season because of injury. Soroye’s medical hardship waiver request was approved recently and he has one year of collegiate eligibility remaining.

“I’m happy to have a young man of Tunji’s character, ability and experience continuing as a part of our program,” Leitao said. “His leadership and experience will be a valuable asset to our young team this coming season.”

Soroye has played in 81 games and started 36 during his Virginia career. He has scored 128 points, had 226 rebounds and blocked 78 shots. He led the team in blocked shots in 2005-06 with 37.

The 6-8 Mikalauskas, who is from Palanga, Lithuania, missed 13 games because of injury as a junior in 2007-08. He played in 20 games, starting one, and averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds a game while shooting 65.4 percent (53-81) from the field.

“There are standards to be a member of this basketball program and Laurynas has not lived up to those standards,” Leitao said. “I will have no additional comment on this situation.”

Mikalauskas lettered three times for the Cavaliers. He played in 80 games the last three seasons, starting 25, and averaged 5.5 points and 3.3 rebounds a game. He shot 58.8 percent (173-294) from the field.

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