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PF Robert Williams spurns NBA Draft to return to A&M for sophomore season

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Last year’s SEC Defensive Player of the Year is coming back, and it changes the Aggies outlook drastically.

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of an otherwise disappointing Texas A&M basketball season, freshman power forward Robert Williams was an unabashed bright spot. Combining elite athleticism with a great feel for the game, Williams lept off the screen from the moment the season tipped off. With the experts projecting him as a potential top five pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Williams was gone. That all changed with Tuesday’s news that he will indeed stay in College Station for his sophomore season.

This is huge news for an A&M team that was already looking like it could improve in 2017-2018. The Aggies lose only two seniors in point guard JC Hampton and forward Tavario Miller. Miller averaged less than 11 minutes per game this season, and Hampton’s starting point guard role will more than likely go to JJ Caldwell, who signed with the Aggies in 2016 before being ruled ineligible for this past season. Caldwell, who was one of the top 100 players in the country and the eighth-rated player in Texas coming out of high school, is already enrolled at A&M and all indications are he will be eligible for the coming season.

The Aggies also added another national top 100 player in the 2017 recruiting class in small forward Savion Flagg. He’ll look to push for playing time from day one, and when you add him to a core of Tyler Davis, Admon Gilder and (a healthy) DJ Hogg, A&M has loads of talent returning to next year’s roster.

Robert Williams’ return gives A&M potentialy the best frontcourt in the conference, and it takes this from a team that could be on the NCAA tournament bubble to one that, if things go right, could be in the mix for another SEC championship.