Wisconsin men’s basketball standout Nigel Hayes has decided to return to the Badgers for his senior season.
Hayes withdrew his name from the 2016 NBA draft entry pool after declaring for the draft last month but not signing with an agent.
Hayes told the Wisconsin State Journal that returning to UW was the best decision for his future.
Hayes was expected to be a second round pick after making just 37% of his shots last season and having an average performance at the recent draft combine in Chicago.
Hayes said it was valuable to go through the pre-draft process, but he’d rather get a degree from the UW and help his Badger teammates go for a national championship.
His return means that coach Greg Gard will have all five of his starters back from last years team, that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in March. The Badgers finished 22-13 last season. They’ll start this season as one of the front runners for the Big Ten Conference.
Hayes led the Badgers with 15.7 points and 3.0 assists a game last season. He was second in rebounding (5.8), earning first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Hayes will be looking for a strong final season, not only to help the Badgers, but to help him improve his stock in the NBA Draft next year.