VILLANOVA, Pa. — Jalen Brunson, The Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year, has declared for the NBA draft after winning two national titles at Villanova.
The star guard will forego his final season after helping lead the Wildcats to their second national championship in three years. Brunson averaged 18.9 points and 4.6 assists per game in 40 games for the Wildcats this season.
“Jalen has left an indelible mark on our university and our basketball program,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a statement.
“He is both the consummate Villanova basketball player and Villanova student-athlete, a leader on and off the court. We’re proud of the man he has become. This is an intelligent decision and I have every confidence in his ability to succeed at the professional level.”
Mikal Bridges, who averaged 17.7 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Wildcats, made the same decision on Monday.
Tillie decides to return to Gonzaga
SPOKANE — Forward Killian Tillie will return for his junior year at Gonzaga, helping to form a formidable front court.
The 6-foot-10 Tillie said Wednesday that he loved “playing here and being a part of the amazing culture at GU.”
Tillie’s announcement comes three days after forward Rui Hachimura said he would return.
They join San Jose State transfer Brandon Clarke, a first-team all-Mountain West selection as a sophomore, and sophomore center Jacob Larsen in the front court.
Tillie, who earned all-WCC honors and was the WCC Tournament’s most outstanding player, was second on the team in scoring (12.9), rebounding (5.8) and blocks (37).
Gonzaga advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight season.
Auburn’s Brown to test draft waters
AUBURN, Ala. — Guard Bryce Brown has joined a list of Auburn players considering entering the NBA draft.
The first-team all-Southeastern Conference performer announced his decision to go through the evaluation process Wednesday, but says he’s not planning to hire an agent. He has until June 11 to withdraw from the draft.
Guards Mustapha Heron and Jared Harper and center Austin Wiley have already declared for the draft. Only Heron has indicated he plans to hire an agent, which would close the door on a possible return.
Brown averaged 15.9 points per game as a junior and ranks second in career three-pointers for Auburn behind Wesley Person.
Rod Strickland’s son signs with Badgers
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin has signed the son of former NBA guard Rod Strickland and a 7-footer from Minnesota to its latest recruiting class.
Six-foot-2 guard Tai Strickland and center Joe Hedstrom signed letters of intent Wednesday. They will be eligible starting this fall, joining November signee Taylor Currie.
Strickland averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists as a high school senior in Tampa, Fla.