Jalen Wilson Withdraws From NBA Draft, Returns To Kansas

Jalen Wilson will withdraw from the 2022 NBA draft and return to Kansas for his junior season in a redshirt, he announced Wednesday via his Instagram. Wilson’s return is a big boost for bill yourself and KU basketball, which now has two returning starters from the national championship-winning team in Wilson and Dajuan Harris.

Wilson was an integral part of KU’s national championship-winning squad last season. For the season, Wilson averaged 11.1 points per game on 46.1% shooting from the field, 56.9% shooting from 2, and 26.3% shooting from behind the arc. His 7.4 rebounds per game led the team. He also contributed with 1.8 assists and 0.9 steals per game. He came off the bench in nine of the first 10 games of the season, but once Big 12 play began, Wilson found other gear. He averaged nearly 13 points and eight rebounds between the start of conference play and the end of the season.

After the season, Wilson signed with an NCAA-certified agency, meaning he would be able to maintain his college eligibility while testing the NBA draft waters. At the G League Elite camp in May, Wilson measured 6-5.75 without shoes and 6-7.25 with shoes. For reference, Wilson was listed at 6-foot-8 at Kansas. The forward paired that with a wingspan of 6-8.25, a quarter inch longer than a year ago. And after weighing 225.2 pounds last year with 7.3% body fat, Wilson has been working hard to lose weight, playing this year at 215 pounds. He was back at 224.6 pounds in Chicago, just 0.6 pounds lower than last year, and his body fat was actually slightly higher at 7.65%.

Although Wilson wasn’t initially invited to the NBA Draft Combine, the forward earned a spot with stellar play at the G-League’s elite camp. He scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds in a single scrimmage and went 7-for-11-of-3 over two scrimmages.

In Wilson’s first at the combine, the forward scored 10 points on 4-for-11, 0-for-4 and 2-for-4 shooting from the free throw line. He grabbed six rebounds, which tied for third on his eight-man team. He also recorded two assists and two turnovers in 10 minutes on the court. During the second scrimmage, Wilson scored nine points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field, 1-of-3 shooting from the field, and 4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line. He again grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists, one of which resulted in a dunk for Braun. He only returned the ball three times during his 30 minutes on the pitch.

During the two NBA Combine scrimmages, Wilson shot 6 of 21 (28.6%) from the field and 1 of 7 (14.3%) of 3 while averaging six rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes per game .

Coming back, Wilson was a four-star rookie and was the No. 46 ranked rookie nationally, the No. 14 ranked small forward, and the No. 6 ranked rookie at Texas in the Class of 2019.

Wilson’s first season with KU was cut short due to injury after two games. Wilson broke his left ankle against UNC Greensboro in the second game of the season. He ended up redshirting in 2019-20. Last season, Wilson averaged 11.8 points and 7.9 rebounds in 28.3 minutes per game. He started 26 of KU’s 29 games.

The forward will have three more seasons of eligibility to play.

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