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Jaylin Williams will remain in the 2022 NBA Draft and forfeit his remaining college eligibility, he announced on Saturday.
The decision comes after several weeks of testing, which included training in Miami and participating in the combine in Chicago earlier this month. He had until June 1 to withdraw his name and return to Arkansas.
At the start of the NBA Draft Combine, Williams told NCAA.com’s Andy Katz that he “wants to hear a guarantee before” making a final decision and that he must have received it despite being widely projected to. go in the middle of the second round. in fake drafts.
It’s the fourth straight year the Razorbacks have seen a player leave school early to pursue a professional career, as Williams follows Moses Moody (2021), Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones (2020) and Daniel Gafford (2019).
“To Razorback Nation, thank you! Williams wrote in a statement on Twitter. “For a kid growing up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, this has been just a dream come true for the past two years. All the love has been felt. From court rushes to March Madness races , we could never have done without all of you!”
“We hope he’s okay,” head coach Eric Musselman said. in a radio interview earlier this month. “It’s very good for the program. Moses Moody has been playing for us for a year (and) being a lottery pick is a big selling point with recruiting. … We want (Williams) to be drafted as high as possible.
Part of the announced Class of 2020 that helped restore Arkansas’ program, Williams will end his college career after helping the Razorbacks to a 53-16 record and consecutive Elite Eights – ending a drought of 25 years of not reaching the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.
Despite being a four-star prospect and the No. 59 rookie in the nation from Fort Smith Northside, Williams didn’t play early as a rookie. In fact, he hasn’t seen the floor in six games and played under 10 minutes in nine others.
However, his role expanded over time as he became a key player off the bench and even started the last three games of the NCAA Tournament.
This paved the way for a second breakout year in which he earned First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team honors. He nearly averaged a double-double for the season, finishing with 10.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
Although he was good early on, Williams’ game evolved throughout the season and he was even better in SEC play, averaging 13.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks against conference foes.
(READ FOLLOWING: 2021-22 season review – Jaylin Williams)
He ended up scoring a double-double in 16 of the final 23 games of the season, while also breaking the UA single-season record with 364 rebounds and leading the NCAA with 54 charges fired. Four of those double-doubles have come in the NCAA Tournament, tying Corliss Williamson’s UA career record for the big dance.
At the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, Williams stood out in scrimmage settings due to his motor skills, physicality, and voice, plus he featured an improved 3-point shot.
“I noticed Williams’ shot during practice on Wednesday, and it was obvious he was working on his shot,” wrote Kyle Irving of The Sporting News. “With his size and mobility, I find it hard to believe he couldn’t find a home as a potential five player in the NBA.”
The Razorbacks apparently planned for the loss of Williams due to their move into the Portal. The first four transfers they landed — Trevon Brazile from Missouri, twins Makhi and Makhel Mitchell from Rhode Island, and Jalen Graham from Arizona State — were listed forwards at 6-foot-9 or taller.
Their newest addition, Wichita State guard Ricky Council IV, also seemed to indicate Williams was moving on, as he put Arkansas to 14 purses. With him remaining in the NBA Draft, the Razorbacks are right on the 13-player limit.
Click here to see how the 2022-23 roster has evolved and reached this point.
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