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2024 NBA Draft: Mark Sears withdraws, will return to Alabama as Crimson Tide tries to return to Final Four

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Alabama star Mark Sears is withdrawing from the NBA Draft for his final season of collegiate eligibility, according to ESPN. The decision positions the Crimson Tide to build upon their first-ever Final Four appearance and gives Sears the chance to garner even more national accolades after a breakout season.

The 6-foot-1 guard earned Second Team All-America honors from CBS Sports in his second season with the Crimson Tide after transferring in following two seasons at Ohio. Sears led Alabama with 21.5 points per game while hitting 43.6% of his 3-pointers.

His play was instrumental in getting Alabama to the national semifinals as he averaged 24.2 points on 45.5% 3-point shooting during the Crimson Tide’s five-game stay in the NCAA Tournament. 

Sears’ strong season positioned him to get looks from NBA franchises during the pre-draft process. But as an undersized guard, Sears still faces skepticism as a pro prospect, despite his gaudy and efficient collegiate numbers. He was the shortest player measured at the combine by two inches at 5’10.25 without shoes. 

Sears is ranked No. 67 in the CBS Sports NBA Draft Prospect Rankings. That would translate to a potential late second-round selection or undrafted free agent territory. Returning to Alabama should position Sears to be one of the highest-paid players in the SEC.

The Crimson Tide ranked No. 9 in Gary Parrish’s Top 25 And 1 before Sears’ decision. With veterans Latrell Wrightsell and Grant Nelson returning and a strong class of transfers also entering, Alabama is now poised to be in the running for a top-five spot in 2024-25 preseason polls.

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