Budinger made himself available for the National Basketball Association draft on April 8, but was eligible to return to college without losing eligibility by not signing with an agent and maintaining his coursework.
“Over the last several weeks I have experienced the NBA draft process, attended several workouts with a variety of NBA clubs and received much positive feedback from those teams, however, it is my decision to return to the University of Arizona,” said Budinger. “The opportunity to play again for Coach Olson in my mind best prepares me to have a successful NBA career. I want to enter the NBA with great certainty of my future potential and believe the chance to develop further under Coach Olson enhances that opportunity. I want to thank the NBA and the clubs for their time and feedback and look forward to another exciting season as an Arizona Wildcat.”
Budinger, a 6-foot-7,
208-pound sophomore forward from
He posted season bests in nearly every statistical category as a sophomore, including field goals (204), field goal attempts (457), three-point field goals, three-point field goal attempts (192), free throws (102), free throw attempts (142), rebounds (184), assists (99), steals (38), points scored (583) and scoring average.
In two seasons at
“I’m thrilled that Chase has
decided to come back,” said Olson.
“Selfishly, I feel the decision is in Chase’s best interest. I feel that in a year he will be a top-10
pick. With guards like Nic (Wise) and
Budinger was one of 12 Wildcats to declare early for the NBA
Draft during the Lute Olson era: Brian Williams (1991), Mike Bibby (1998),
Gilbert Arenas (2001), Jason Gardner (2001),
The Wildcats (19-15 overall, 8-10 Pac-10) made its 24th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007-08, which is the longest active streak in the nation.