Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert returning for senior season

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Corey Kispert will not pursue professional options and is returning to Gonzaga for his senior season.

Kispert’s decision, announced by the school Monday, comes two days after guard Joel Ayayi announced he will be back for his junior season in Spokane.

“Returning to school gives me the best opportunity to not only improve my game to be ready for the NBA, but also to give my best and final shot at the national championship that we have been coming so close to for years,” Kispert said in a statement. “I am so excited to get to work with the phenomenal team we have this year.”

A 6-foot-7 small forward, Kispert averaged 13.9 points and led the Zags with 78 3-pointers as a junior. He was part of two Elite Eight teams and helped put Gonzaga in position for a possible No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed before the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gonzaga center Filip Petrusev will not be back after opting to play professionally in Serbia, but coach Mark Few has signed one of the program’s best recruiting classes. The return of Kispert and Ayayi will likely put the Zags among the favorites to win the 2021 national championship.

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