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Colorado's McKinley Wright pulls out of NBA Draft to return to Buffs
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Colorado's McKinley Wright pulls out of NBA Draft to return to Buffs

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Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV reacts as time rounds out in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 67-60. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Colorado should be competitive again next season in the Pac-12 race, now that guard McKinley Wright announced he is returning for his senior season.

Wright was not among the 105 players on the NBA's preliminary Combine invite list, and Colorado had been expecting Wright to return. In June, CU coach Tad Boyle compared Wright's situation last month to how Oregon guard Payton Pritchard pulled out of the 2019 draft pool, then became a consensus all-American -- and considerably improved his draft stock.

The Buffs lost athletic forward Tyler Bey, the league's defensive player of the year last season, but return Wright, fellow starters D'Shawn Schwartz and Evan Battey plus several key role players while also bringing in Tulsa grad transfer Jeriah Horne.

The Pac-12 still has several key decisions awaiting before the Aug. 3 deadline for pulling out of the draft and returning to school, especially those of UCLA's Chris Smith and ASU's Remy Martin. OSU's Ethan Thompson and WSU's CJ Elleby also have not announced decisions.

On Friday, Stanford's Tyrell Terry opted to stay in the draft.

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