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Report: Jalen Hudson to withdraw from 2018 NBA Draft, return to Florida

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Florida’s 2018-19 roster may just get a massive shot in the arm.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Florida Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Gators wing Jalen Hudson declared for the 2018 NBA Draft way back in late March, and spent much of the last two months preparing for it and getting feedback from the league.

Now, he’ll spend the rest of the offseason preparing to star for the Gators again, if a report from CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein on Tuesday morning is to be believed:

Hudson was thought of as a possible early second-round selection when he declared, but did not make substantial headway during the extended pre-draft process. Notably, he was not one of the dozens of NBA hopefuls invited to the NBA Draft Combine, which suggested the league was not high on his potential to be selected in the staggeringly deep 2018 version of the NBA Draft.

And that means that Hudson was likely relying on feedback from individual teams’ workouts of him to evaluate his chances of being drafted — and didn’t hear promising things.

Hudson had until Wednesday, May 30 to make a final decision on whether to withdraw his name from the draft and retain collegiate eligibility. Now, if Rothstein’s report is correct, he will do that — and return to a Florida lineup that also returns starters KeVaughn Allen and Kevarrius Hayes from a squad that made the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

And Hudson, who averaged 15.5 points per game to lead Florida in 2017-18 — despite playing the fourth-most minutes on the team, and starting in only about half of the Gators’ games — should be poised to be the 2018-19 Gators’ most talented player and leading scorer.