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Joel Ayayi Declares for NBA Draft

The junior guard will not be returning to Gonzaga.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-UCLA at Gonzaga Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga Bulldogs junior guard Joel Ayayi will be signing with an agent and pursuing a professional career.

Ayayi was a finalist for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. He averaged a 12 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game, shooting 68 percent from two and 39 percent from three.

The soft-spoken guard was one of the more underrated players on a team full of stars. Ayayi’s movement’s off the ball were astounding, and he constantly found himself in the right place at the right time, especially on the offensive glass. All of that added up to the first triple-double in school history against Portland, in which he finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists.

Ayayi arrived at Gonzaga as a young, speedy, talented, and very raw prospect. He redshirted his first year and was used sparingly in his freshman season. During his sophomore year, he began the season as the sixth man, but was quickly elevated to a starting role, starting 23 out of 33 games.

On a team of draft prospects, Ayayi is listed all over the place. Some mock drafts have him in the mid-to-late first round, while others list him as undrafted. With his length, speed, and overall basketball acumen, there is no reason Ayayi can’t find himself a spot on a NBA team.

Of course, we here at Slipper Still Fits are permanently aboard the Ayayi train, and we wish him all the best in the future.