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Projected lottery pick Robert Williams to return for sophomore season

NCAA Basketball Tournament - West Regional - Texas A&M v Oklahoma

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24: Head coach Billy Kennedy of the Texas A&M Aggies cheers on his team in the second half while taking on the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament West Regional at the Honda Center on March 24, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Robert Williams, a projected lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft announced on Tuesday that he will be returning to Texas A&M for his sophomore season.

“I love A&M and it was a great experience which helped me grow and get better as a player and a person,” Williams said in a statement. “Although I’ve grown, I still feel like I would benefit from another year of college. This will give me more time to mature and develop my game before moving on to the NBA.”

Williams is a 6-foot-9 forward from Louisiana. This past season he averaged 11.9 points, 8.2 boards and 2.5 blocks for the Aggies. A freak athlete with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, Williams’ ability to affect the game on both ends with him mobility, length, athleticism and budding offensive repertoire piqued the interest of scouts.

His decision to return immediately makes Texas A&M a factor in the SEC. Assuming Tyler Davis and D.J. Hogg both return, the Aggies will also add talented point guard J.J. Caldwell, who was ineligible to play this season. The lack of a point guard is what cost A&M this season.

“I’m thankful that Robert loves Texas A&M and his teammates,” head coach Billy Kennedy said. “I know this was a difficult decision for him and his family. He’s not only a special talent but a special young man. His desire to be the best and his trust in us is humbling. I can’t wait for next season.”