The Auburn basketball team received good news Tuesday when Bryce Brown and Austin Wiley announced they were returning to the team. A short time later, guard Jared Harper helped the day become even better.
Harper announced on Twitter he was withdrawing from the 2018 NBA Draft and will return to Auburn for his junior season. Harper’s return means three of the four Tigers who were testing their NBA Draft stock will instead suit up for Auburn in the 2018-2019 season.
“It was a great opportunity to showcase my talents in front of NBA personnel," Harper tweeted. "I recovered great feedback and feel as though my game has gone up another level. With that said, after talking to my family and coaches, I have decided to return to my junior season at Auburn. War Eagle!”
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Harper was a key player for the Tigers in the 2017-2018 season, averaging 13.2 points per game and tallying a team-high 40 steals. He and Desean Murray were the only Tigers to start all 34 games this past season.
“Jared had a great sophomore season leading Auburn to a conference championship and being an all-conference player,” head coach Bruce Pearl said when Harper entered the draft process. “This is a great opportunity for him to go through the process, get evaluated and grow his game. We’re excited for Jared.”
The decisions by Harper, Brown and Wiley mean Mustapha Heron is the only Tigers player who entered the draft process and won’t return to Auburn. Heron’s final decision was an unexpected one, as he is withdrawing from the draft and is instead transferring schools.