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Santa Clara G Jalen Williams declares for draft, will keep eligibility

Jan 15, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA;  Santa Clara Broncos guard Jalen Williams (24) reacts during the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Leavey Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Santa Clara standout guard Jalen Williams is entering the NBA draft but plans to maintain his college eligibility, ESPN reported Thursday.

Williams, a junior, was the West Coast Conference scoring leader with an average of 17.9 points prior to postseason play. He finished at 18.0 points to trail Gonzaga’s Drew Timme (18.4). He also has impressed scouts with his defensive prowess.

The 6-foot-6 Williams earned first-team All-WCC honors while helping the Broncos to a 21-12 record. Santa Clara’s season ended with a 63-50 loss to Washington State in the first round of the NIT.

“This year was incredibly fun and a season that will be etched into my brain for the rest of my life,” Williams told ESPN. “We made history, beating ranked teams, winning 20-plus games again, making into the postseason and finishing third in our conference. It was great to know all the hours I put in this past summer paid off.”

Williams also averaged 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 39.6 from 3-point range.

NBADraftNet currently lists Williams as going No. 25 overall in its mock draft.

Overall, Williams is averaging 12.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 84 games (72 starts) in three seasons for Santa Clara.

–Field Level Media