Is Alex Karaban returning to UConn basketball? Exploring the Huskies forward's commitment status for 2024-25 season

Alex Karaban is returning to UConn basketball
Alex Karaban is returning to UConn basketball

Alex Karaban announced his decision to withdraw from the 2024 NBA draft and return for his red-shirt junior season at UConn. The forward is the only returning starter for the Huskies after Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle, Cam Spencer and Triston Newton stayed for the draft.

Karaban shared the news through his social media with a message:

"While I've enjoyed the draft process, Storrs is home. Let's run it back."

The forward played a crucial role in UConn's back-to-back championship wins. He averaged 13.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game during the 2023–2024 season while shooting 49.5% from the floor and 37.9% from the three-point range.

Alex Karaban posted exceptionally good numbers in the NBA draft Combine earlier this month. The forward made 21-of-26 shots in the side-mid-side drill while leading everyone in the shooting off the dribble drill. He knocked down 90 percent of his 3-pointers and finished first (84 percent) in the 3-point star drill.

With his performance, many believed that he would stay in the draft. He was a projected mid-to-late first round pick with existing rotational player potential.

UConn Huskies prepare for three-peat with a strong roster

In the off-season, the Huskies added Aidan Mahaney and Tarris Reed Jr. from the transfer portal. They are also set to welcome No. 16 recruit Liam McNeeley along with two more incoming freshmen. McNeeley previously committed to the Indiana Hoosiers before switching to UConn earlier this month.

Commenting on the 2024-25 roster with the new recruits, UConn coach Dan Hurley said:

"This is going to be an incredibly deep and talented team. Maybe a little bit young, but the talent is going to be impressive together out there. We're banking heavily on player development and gone for strategic maneuvers based on players we feel can come in here and thrive and play great."

The new season also gives last year's returning recruits, Jaylin Stewart, Solomon Ball, Jayden Ross and Youssouf Singare, potentially more playtime.

"We just feel great that some of these young guys are going to finally get a chance," Hurley said. "Or, we just recruited them, and we feel like they're ready to go right away."
"I think Jaylin and Solo have a chance to make a huge jump, as you've seen freshmen to sophomore have made for us. I think we expect that, they expect that."

The UConn Huskies will look to be the first team since the UCLA Bruins to win the NCAA Championship three consecutive times.

What do you think of Alex Karaban returning to UConn? And what are your predictions for the new season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Also read: 5 college basketball teams with best non-conference record since 2020 ft. UConn

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