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Report: Azuolas Tubelis to return to Arizona for junior season

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Utah Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Zu is staying put.

Arizona Wildcats forward Azuolas Tubelis will return to Arizona for his junior season, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

A 2021-22 All-Pac-12 First-Team selection, Tubelis averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a sophomore.

The 6-foot-11 Lithuanian was not considered a legitimate 2022 NBA Draft prospect.

Tubelis improved as a shooter last season, connecting on 54% of his field goal attempts. He scored a career-high 32 points against Utah on January 15 and contributed 20 points in Arizona’s Pac-12 Tournament championship win over UCLA.

Tubelis struggled in the NCAA Tournament, however, scoring five points against TCU and just two points in Arizona’s season-ending Sweet 16 loss to Houston. Against the Cougars, Tubelis went 0-8 from the floor and committed four turnovers.

Tubelis’s return, though not unexpected, is a big source of relief for Arizona, which lost Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko to the NBA Draft in the last week.

Tubelis is Arizona’s top returning scorer and rebounder heading into 2022-23.