Isaiah Austin passes on NBA Draft, will return to Baylor

USA TODAY Sports

Baylor will boast one of the nation's frontcourts after Isaiah Austin opted not to declare for the NBA Draft.

Isaiah Austin will pass on the NBA Draft and return to Baylor for his sophomore season, according to Adam Zagoria. Austin has wavered on whether to declare and was considered one of the best players on the fence, but he has decided to return to school, to Baylor's delight.

When Austin committed to Baylor, most expected that the big would only be in Waco for one year, but he stumbled a bit as a freshman and the Bears are going to get at least another year out of the skilled big man. Austin was still a very good player, averaging 13 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, but his slight frame proved to be a hindrance.

Austin was often outmuscled by more experienced players and didn't make the impact on defense that some expected, causing him to slide down draft boards as scouts questioned whether he would be strong enough to handle the NBA.

Despite not dominating the way some expected, Austin still would have been a first-round pick had he opted to declare for the draft and he might have been able to move his way up into the lottery. But that is a long way from the preseason top 10 draft predictions, so he will return to school, hoping to mature and put on some muscle to get back to that level.

Along with Corry Jefferson, who also passed on the draft, Austin will help give Baylor one of the best frontcourts in the country. There are still some questions about the Bears' guards, but Austin and Jefferson alone give Baylor a chance in every game. If they get improved backcourt play, they may be able to challenge Kansas for the Big XII title.

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