Garrison Brooks to Return to North Carolina, Forgo 2020 NBA Draft

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIApril 3, 2020

North Carolina forward Garrison Brooks (15) drives to the basket whiule Duke guard Jordan Goldwire (14) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

North Carolina forward Garrison Brooks has decided to pass on declaring for the NBA draft and instead return for his senior season with the Tar Heels, per Jonathan M. Alexander of The News & Observer.

The 6'9" native of Alabama averaged 16.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and two assists last season while playing 32 games.

Brooks' return is a massive boost for a North Carolina team that's already looking like an early title contender in 2021. 

Head coach Roy Williams has amassed another group of top recruits, with 247Sports.com ranking UNC's incoming freshman group the No. 3 class in the country. UNC currently boasts three 5-star recruits including centers Day'Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler as well as point guard Caleb Love. 

If that weren't enough, there's still a possibility guard Cole Anthony returns for his sophomore year rather than join the ranks of college basketball's one-and-dones. In mid-March, Anthony announced he was delaying his decision to turn pro or not as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country.

A return season for Cole would shock even Williams, who said he has no "doubt" the guard will declare for the draft. 

North Carolina is coming off one of Williams' worst seasons since taking over the Tar Heels. UNC went 14-19 (6-14, ACC), finishing second-to-last in its conference ahead of only Wake Forest. Brooks now has a chance at redemption as his program looks to bounce back and challenge for an NCAA title again.

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