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McKinley Wright withdraws from NBA Draft, returns to Buffaloes

Wright will be back in Boulder, as expected.

NCAA Basketball: Southern California at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

McKinley Wright IV has tested the NBA Draft waters, but has officially returned to the Colorado Buffaloes, as first reported by Jon Rothstein.

Wright did the same thing after the 2018-19 season, as he briefly entered the NBA to compare himself to other guards entering the association. Rumors were that last offseason — and most likely this offseason too — he had full intentions of coming back to Boulder, but wanted to hear from NBA teams what he needed to improve to get to the next level.

The senior from North Robinsdale, Minnesota has averaged 13.8 points, 5.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 99 games for Colorado. He was named second-team All-Pac-12 as a freshman, then first-team in his sophomore and junior campaigns. He may be the front-runner for Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2020-21.

As has been the case since his first day on campus, Wright will be the engine of a very competitive Buffs team. Colorado was in the driver’s seat for the Pac-12 title, but collapsed in the team’s final five games; if there’s anything we know about this upcoming season, it’s that McKinley is motivated to flip that narrative.

Tad Boyle’s squad will be simultaneously experienced and unproven this season. The Buffs have senior leaders in Wright and D’Shawn Schwartz, as well as junior Evan Battey, but they will be relying on transfer Jeriah Horne and various true freshmen to replace Tyler Bey, whom departed for the NBA early in the draft process.

Also of note, Colorado hasn’t appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2015, although they were a lock for the 2020 tournament and should be expected to make the 2021 competition. If they are to break their streak, in addition to competing for the Pac-12 title, McKinley Wright will be their driving force and alpha dog.