Love withdrawing from draft, returning to Arizona



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Pac-12 Player of the Year Caleb Love is withdrawing from the NBA draft and returning to Arizona for his final season, he announced Wednesday.

Love made his announcement via a video on social media.

“Wildcat Nation, it’s been so amazing the way you’ve welcomed me and showered me with love,” he said. “There’s no way I can walk away from that right now. The show goes on.”

Love, a 6-foot-4 guard, led Arizona to the Pac-12 regular-season championship in his first season in Tucson, averaging 18.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists en route to Player of the Year honors in the conference and third-team All-America selection by the Associated Press. He hit career highs in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage.

The St. Louis native spent the first three years of his career at North Carolina, helping lead the Tar Heels to a national championship game appearance in 2022. Love averaged 14.6 points during his three seasons in Chapel Hill and will be remembered for his go-ahead jumper over Duke’s Mark Williams to advance to the title game.

Love is the second Arizona player to withdraw from the NBA draft this month, following rising sophomore guard KJ Lewis. The Wildcats lost Pelle Larsson to the draft earlier this spring, while starters Kylan Boswell and Oumar Ballo entered the portal shortly after the season ended.

With Love returning, Tommy Lloyd has a preseason top-10 team for Arizona’s first season in the Big 12. Love, Lewis and Jaden Bradley should form one of the best perimeter groups in the country, while the Wildcats are also adding Campbell transfer Anthony Dell’Orso. Up front, Horizon League Player of the Year Trey Townsend should be the focal point after transferring in from Oakland.

Shortly after Love announced his decision, top-25 recruit Joson Sanon announced he was decommitting from Arizona and would instead play for Arizona State next season. Top-50 recruit Jamari Phillips also decommitted from Arizona on Wednesday, sources told ESPN.



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