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Deandre Ayton officially declares for 2018 NBA Draft

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Ayton averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game during his first and only season at Arizona

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats seven-foot freshman center Deandre Ayton officially declared for the 2018 NBA draft Wednesday.

“I’m so blessed for the opportunity I had at Arizona, and I’m excited to announce I will be entering the 2018 NBA Draft,” Ayton said via Twitter.

Ayton declaring for the draft doesn’t come as much of a surprise. After the Wildcats’ final home game of the 2017-18 season, Arizona head coach Sean Miller announced Ayton’s name along with Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins on senior night at the McKale Center.

When asked why, Miller said simply, “Because they aren't coming back.”

During his time at Arizona, Ayton recorded one of the most dominate seasons in Pac-12 history.

He averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game in his first and only season as a college basketball player. He also recorded 24 double-doubles, breaking the record, previously held by Al Fleming, for most double-doubles in a season in Arizona history.

The star freshman was awarded Pac-12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, the first since UCLA’s Kevin Love in 2008, and is widely considered to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2018 NBA draft.

Follow Nate Airulla on Twitter at @nateairulla