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Kerr Kriisa withdraws from transfer portal, will stay at Arizona

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Simon Asher / Arizona Athletics

Kerr Kriisa will withdraw his name from the transfer portal and stay at Arizona and play for new head coach Tommy Lloyd, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

“Over the last week I’ve felt from their recruiting that they really want me here,” Kriisa told Givony. “I trust Tommy Lloyd 100% and I’m ready to get back to work.”

When Kriisa entered the portal, he left the door open to a return and it seemed inevitable he would be back when he was present at a team workout Tuesday. It doesn’t hurt that Lloyd retained both Jack Murphy and Jason Terry on his coaching staff.

Kriisa’s return is a big development for the Wildcats, who need guards. Jemarl Baker Jr. and Terrell Brown Jr. transferred away, 2021 recruit K.J. Simpson reopened his recruitment, and starting point guard James Akinjo is in the portal as well.

It also means that, as of now, Arizona will be returning six players who started at least five games last season. That’s a welcome change for a program that had to replace its entire starting five for two straight seasons.

Kriisa averaged 5.5 points and 2.4 assists in eight games (five starts) for Arizona in 2020-21, with all 14 of his field goals coming from 3-point range. His UA debut was delayed due to an eligibility issue stemming from his receipt of a stipend while playing for a club team in Europe. He also missed a game with a groin injury.

Kriisa expressed excitement about the program’s future toward the end of last season.

“I believe we can make really good damage next year,” he said. “So I’m really excited for upcoming years.”