Transfer and NBA draft declaration season is in full swing with college basketball’s season concluding last week. Yet, one name that seemed likely to be included among those intending to enter the draft has instead decided to stay in college another year.
Per Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports, USC forward Bennie Boatwright will return to the Trojans for his senior season in 2018-19. The team’s Twitter account seemed to confirm that info not long after:
One. More. Year.
— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) April 10, 2018
The 6-foot-10 Boatwright missed the final nine games of last season after suffering a knee injury in February. This was on top of missing action during the season with foot issues. When healthy, Boatwright was one of USC’s most productive players at 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
It was Boatwright’s 3-pointer in the final minute that gave USC a win against New Mexico State to claim the Diamond Head Classic tournament title in Hawaii in December. He scored a career-high 33 points in that game, one of his five 20-point games last season.
A key factor in Bennie Boatwright’s decision to return to USC was that he is still rehabbing from his season-ending knee injury. It would be difficult for him to work out for NBA teams.
— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) April 10, 2018
Boatwright’s return is a huge boost for a USC team that graduates guards Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart and saw junior forward Chimezie Metu turn pro. That trio provided 50.5 percent of scoring, 39.5 percent of rebounds and 66.6 percent of assists for USC in 2017-18.