Austin Wiley withdraws from NBA Draft, returns to Auburn basketball

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Austin Wiley’s days with Auburn basketball aren’t done after all, as the 6-foot-11 center has withdrawn from the 2018 NBA Draft.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman and Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Rothstein tweeted Tuesday morning that Wiley would return to the program. The sophomore, who did not play in Auburn’s 2017-18 campaign, averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in the 2016-17 season.

“I’d like to thank the Auburn Family for the support, as well as my coaches and teammates for an incredible season,” Wiley wrote. “I’m happy to be back. It’s time to get to work.”

Wiley arrived at Auburn as a mid-year enrollee in December 2016. The son of former Auburn basketball standouts Vickie Orr and Aubrey Wiley, Wiley went on to captain the United States’ U-19 national team at the FIBA World Cup in the summer of 2017. He averaged 10.3 points and 10.9 rebounds in the tournament.

“I’m really excited to have a chance to coach Austin again this season,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement. “He has a chance to be one of the most dominant big men in college basketball this season. He’s such a great kid and a hard worker. All of his dreams for greatness at Auburn and beyond are still alive and well. I also want to thank the Auburn Family for their patience and the support of Austin and his family during this past season.”

Auburn held out Wiley for the Tigers’ entire 2017-18 SEC championship season because of eligibility issues. A federal complaint last year stated Wiley’s family accepted thousands of dollars from an advisor that was set up by former Auburn basketball assistant coach Chuck Person.

Wiley was cleared for the 2018-19 season by the NCAA in January.

The Birmingham, Ala., native declared for the NBA Draft following the 2017-18 season but did not hire an agent. He participated in the NBA combine in Chicago. Many draft analysts projected Wiley as a second-round pick in this year’s class.

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