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Willie Cauley-Stein will return to Kentucky for junior season

(Lance King/Getty Images) Cauley-Stein will be a rare veteran presence for the Wildcats next season. (Lance King/Getty Images)

The University of Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein, a projected first-round pick, announced Monday he will return for his junior season.

"I want to come back and have a chance to win a national championship while also getting closer to earning my degree," Cauley-Stein said in news release. Cauley-Stein suffered an ankle injury in the Sweet 16 that sidelined him from a Wildcat's push to into the Final Four where they lost to the University of Connecticut in the NCAA final.

"I feel this emptiness in me like I still got something to prove and I still got so much stuff to work on in my game," he said. “Being at the Final Four this year was special, but not being able to help my teammates on the floor was tough. I look forward to helping us get back there next year, while playing in front of the best fans in the nation.”

Cauley-Stein averaged 6.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in just 23.8 minutes per game this season.

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