After declaring himself eligible for the NBA draft, Ohio State guard CJ Walker has withdrawn his name from consideration and will officially return for his senior season.
In a statement posted to his Instagram account, Walker said he will be back after consulting with his family and Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann.
“The feedback we received was very helpful and I’m looking forward to getting back to work with my teammates,” Walker said. “I love playing in front of Buckeye Nation and I can’t wait to finish my degree and my playing career here at THE Ohio State University!”
In conclusion, Walker added that he “can’t wait to make some more special memories this year.”
His return was considered a near-certainty when he announced his plans to explore his draft stock, thanks to recent rule change allowing athletes to do so without jeopardizing their eligibility. College basketball players can put their name into the draft, receive feedback from teams and hire an NCAA-approved agent to help the process so long as they sever ties once they decide to return to school. Walker’s name did not appear on any mock drafts.
Walker will play a critical role on the 2020-21 Ohio State team. A Florida State transfer who is entering his fifth year of college, Walker started 29 of 31 games in his first season for the Buckeyes and averaged 8.7 points, a team-high 3.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting 42.7% from the floor, 32.1% from three and 81.2% from the free-throw line.
In the final 11 games of the season, after the departure of freshman point guard D.J. Carton, Walker averaged 11.1 points per game, scoring in double figures in Ohio State’s final six games of the season.