One of the last outstanding pieces of Maryland men’s basketball’s roster is returning.
Guard Eric Ayala has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will come back to College Park for his senior season, the team announced Wednesday.
“I’m proud of Eric for taking his time throughout this process and obtaining the feedback needed to make an informed decision on his future,” coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. “Eric is one of the top guards in the Big Ten Conference and possesses experience at the highest level of college basketball that can’t be taught.”
Ayala’s return is a boon to a deep Terps’ squad that is loading up for the 2021-22 campaign. He started all but one game he appeared in last year as the go-to guard in Turgeon’s rotation and posted career-best numbers.
[Pavlo Dziuba transfers to Maryland men’s basketball from Arizona State]
He led Maryland in scoring with 15.1 points per game, only failing to reach double-digit points four times. Ayala also sank 57 three-pointers, helping him earn All-Big Ten honorable mention accolades. He has only missed two games due to injury in his three seasons in College Park, and he is set to lead the team one more time.
Ayala’s decision to stay with the Terps leaves one last undecided piece of Turgeon’s roster.
Fellow NBA Draft entree Aaron Wiggins has impressed at times during exhibition and combine action, garnering workouts with several teams. The last day he can withdraw from the draft is July 19, but if he wants to retain college eligibility, he must withdraw by July 7.