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

UConn forward Alex Karaban will return to campus for a bid for a third straight national title after withdrawing from the NBA draft on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-4 third-year sophomore has started 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 back-to-back NCAA Tournament titles since Florida in 2006 and 2007.

No program has won three in a row since UCLA won seven in a row from 1967 to 1973.

“While I have enjoyed the draft process, Storrs is home,” Karaban, from Southborough, Massachusetts, wrote on social media. “Let’s turn it back!”

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

Love, an explosive 6-4 guard, 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 in Arizona before last season after spending the previous three seasons in North Carolina, where he built a reputation as a big-time player during the Tar Heel’s run to the 2022 national title game.

The Wildcats announced Love’s return with a social media post stating, “He’s back. #A love.”

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

Hunter, a 6-foot-1 senior from Atlanta, averaged 12.9 points per game and led the Tigers with 116 assists. He 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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