Nick Ward will be returning to the Michigan State Spartans for his junior campaign, according to multiple sources.
Nick Ward is returning to Michigan State for his junior season, his mother tells @TheAthleticDET.— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) May 29, 2018
Ward averaged 12.4 pts and 7.1 rebs as a sophomore at MSU, starting 34 of 35 games.
While this move was expected by many Spartan fans, Ward declared for the NBA Draft back in March. He did not hire an agent, however, which gave him the option to return to school before May 30.
Ward did not receive an invite to the NBA Combine held earlier this month, but did work out privately for some teams, including the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit Pistons.
The decision to return to school seems to be in the best interest for both Ward — who can further develop his game for the NBA — and the Spartans, as having a two-year starter return for a third season is an obvious benefit.
Ward started 34 games last season, while averaging 12.4 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game. He shot nearly 65 percent from the floor and also averaged just over five free throw attempts per game.
If Ward can improve his passing and decision-making (especially when being double-teamed), stay out of foul trouble and keep his emotions in check, he could be in for a very successful junior season.