CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Coleman Hawkins kept Illinois fans on edge all day but with less than 90 minutes until the NCAA early entry withdrawal deadline, the 6-foot-10 forward announced he’s coming back to Champaign for his senior season. Hawkins posted several tweets throughout the day Wednesday teasing his decision, but in the end Illinois gets one of its most experienced players back for a fourth year.
Hawkins averaged 9.9 points and a team high 6.3 rebounds per game last season as a junior. The California native announced late March he was declaring for the NBA Draft, but keeping his college eligibility. After going to the NBA Combine earlier this month in Chicago, Hawkins worked out for several teams, getting feedback along the way, but ultimately decided another year in college was his best option.
Hawkins is the second Illini to announce he’s coming back for another year with the Illini, joining Terrence Shannon Jr., who also declared for the NBA Draft. The duo anchor an experienced team that includes senior transfers Marcus Domask (SIU), Quincy Guerrier (Oregon) and Justin Harmon (Utah Valley).