Thursday July 18th, 2024 8:00AM

UConn forward Karaban, Arizona guard Love heading back to school after withdrawing from NBA draft

By The Associated Press

UConn forward Alex Karaban is heading back to campus for a try at a third straight national title after withdrawing from the NBA draft Wednesday.

The 6-foot-8 third-year sophomore has started in 77 of his 78 games since joining the Huskies. He averaged 13.3 points and 5.1 rebounds last season as UConn went 37-3 and became the first team with consecutive NCAA Tournament titles since Florida in 2006 and 2007.

No program has won three in a row since UCLA won seven straight from 1967-73.

“While I've enjoyed the draft process, Storrs is home,” Karaban, from Southborough, Massachusetts, posted on social media. “Let's run it back!”

Arizona also got a big boost with shooting guard Caleb Love's decision to withdraw from the NBA draft to rejoin the Wildcats.

An explosive 6-4 guard, Love was the Pac-12 player of the year and a Naismith Award semifinalist after leading Arizona with 18 points per game and 92 made 3-pointers.

Love arrived at Arizona prior to last season after spending the previous three at North Carolina, where he built a reputation as a big-shot maker during the Tar Heel's run to the 2022 national title game.

The Wildcats announced Love's return with a social media post declaring: “He's back. #OneLove.”

Also withdrawing was Clemson guard Chase Hunter, who helped the Tigers reach the Elite Eight last season.

Hunter, a 6-foot-4 senior from Atlanta, averaged 12.9 points a game and led the Tigers with 116 assists. He had declared for the NBA draft last month, but was not invited to the league's draft combine.

Hunter played a big role in Clemson's run to the Elite Eight, where he averaged 17.8 points in four games and was named to the All-West Region team.


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