Jalen Brunson returning to Villanova next season

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Villanova guard Jalen Brunson (right) will return for his junior season.

Villanova point guard Jalen Brunson announced Thursday that he will return to the team next season and not enter this year's NBA draft.

Brunson, finishing his sophomore year, made his decision after he and his parents met this week with Wildcats coach Jay Wright.

“Jalen is an outstanding student who loves being at Villanova and wants to complete his degree by the end of his junior year,” Wright said in a statement. “This was a simple decision made by Jalen’s family. Jalen wants to graduate, be a leader on this year’s team, and compete for a championship.”

The 6-foot-2 Brunson finished second on the team in scoring this past season with a 14.7-point average and led in assists at 4.1 per game. He shot 54.1 percent from the field and 87.6 percent from the free-throw line.

He was a unanimous all-Big East first-team selection, made the all-Big Five first team and was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award given to the nation’s outstanding point guard. The Wildcats won the Big East regular-season and tournament championships and finished 32-4.

His father, Rick Brunson, played in the NBA and is an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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