North Carolina Tar Heels guard Joel Berry II announced Tuesday he will return to school for the 2017-18 season.
"After speaking to my family I have decided to withdraw from the 2017 draft and will return to Carolina next season," he said in a statement on the school's official site. "I know I can continue to improve my game and be better prepared for the NBA after another year playing against the best college competition in the country. There's no reason to rush leaving school. I love being a Tar Heel and love playing for Carolina and coach [Roy] Williams."
The school announced Monday that Berry, along with teammates Theo Pinson and Tony Bradley, had filed the necessary paperwork to enter the 2017 NBA draft. None of the three hired an agent, though, which allowed Berry to stay in Chapel Hill.
Berry averaged 14.7 points and 3.6 assists a game as a junior in 2016-17. He also shot 38.4 percent from three-point range.
Putting off the draft for another year is a sensible decision for Berry. The 2017 class is flush with talented point guards, with Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, De'Aaron Fox and Dennis Smith all potential top-10 picks.
Berry will have an opportunity to strengthen his draft stock in his senior year.
His return will be a nice boost for North Carolina as well, with SB Nation's Tar Heel Blog summing up the reaction from most fans:
Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks will graduate, while Justin Jackson hired an agent, forgoing his final year of eligibility. The cupboard won't be completely bare for Williams next year, but replacing those three won't be easy.
Having Berry for one more season will be a nice luxury for North Carolina as it looks to defend its national championship.
Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Get the app and get the game.