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2017 NBA Draft: Johnathan Williams will return for his senior year at Gonzaga

Now sigh a big sigh of relief.

Xavier v Gonzaga Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Johnathan Williams III will return to Gonzaga for his senior year, withdrawing from the NBA Draft on Wednesday, May 24. Today was the last day a player could stay in the process before renouncing their collegiate eligibility.

Williams didn’t appear on any draft boards, but he used the process to be able to work out for multiple teams, hopefully getting some valuable feedback in the process.

Williams was instrumental in Gonzaga’s 2017 NCAA title run, averaging 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He will be even more valuable next season. The Zags have been hit by a flurry of early departures: from Zach Collins and Nigel Williams-Goss to the NBA, Ryan Edwards to retirement, and Bryan Alberts to a different school.

Although the Zags retain a good portion of their core, the frontcourt was going to be rather thin without Williams. That sound you hear is the biggest sigh of relief throughout Spokane with the news that Williams will stay.

Staying for an extra season will truly allow Williams to shine. The Zags had such a wealth of riches up front, that each player’s individual stats were a bit muted because of lack of playing time. That won’t be an issue next season, and Williams will be looked upon as a leader for a team in search of some senior leadership.