NBA draft notes: Iowa’s Tyler Cook will return for junior season; Freshman coming back to Iowa State

NBA draft notes: Iowa’s Tyler Cook will return for junior season; Freshman coming back to Iowa State
Tyler Cook, right, averaged team highs of 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds for Iowa, which finished 14-19. (The Associated Press)

IOWA CITY — Iowa forward Tyler Cook withdrew his name from NBA draft consideration and will return for his junior season.

The 6-foot-9 forward announced his decision Wednesday, which means the Hawkeyes are getting their best player back after a trying 2017-18.

Cook averaged team highs of 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds for Iowa, which finished 14-19. But the return of Cook and fellow junior Isaiah Moss — who also withdrew from NBA draft consideration — should put the Hawkeyes in position to improve next winter.

Iowa will also bring in prized recruit Joe Wieskamp, perhaps the only recruit more highly touted than Cook in coach Fran McCaffery’s eight seasons with the Hawkeyes.

Bowen opts for draft

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Faced with sitting out at least another year at South Carolina as the federal investigation into college basketball continues, a “devastated” Brian Bowen thought he had no choice but to remain in the NBA draft.

Bowen announced Wednesday that he’s leaving the school after the NCAA told South Carolina officials he would miss at least all of next season with the Gamecocks. The NCAA based its decision on alleged benefits received by the Bowen family at his former school, Louisville, and the governing body’s transfer requirement of a year off the court.

“I am completely devastated by the NCAA’s ruling,” Bowen said in a statement.

Bowen transferred to South Carolina in January following his suspension from Louisville after news of an alleged payment involving the Cardinals and his father to get him to join that school.

Bowen has denied knowledge of any payment.

Freshman coming back to ISU

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State guard Lindell Wigginton said he is withdrawing from consideration for the draft and returning to school for his sophomore season.

Wigginton, who averaged 16.7 points and 2.8 assists a game as a freshman, announced his plans Wednesday.

Wigginton and fellow newcomer Cameron Lard gave the Cyclones a pair of young cornerstone players in what was a rebuilding season a year ago. Wigginton broke Iowa State’s record for points by a freshman, topping 20 on 13 occasions.

In other draft news:

Kansas: Big man Udoka Azubuike announced that he will return for his junior season instead of remaining in the draft. But the Jayhawks did lose Lagerald Vick and Malik Newman, who already signed with an agent.

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