Purdue center A.J. Hammons will return to school for his senior season, the program announced Saturday. Hammons earned second team All-Big Ten honors as a junior, averaging 11.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.
“We are excited that A.J. has decided to remain in school and continue his education and career at Purdue,” coach Matt Painter said in a statement. “A.J. will be a very large part of our team next year and we are looking for him to play with the consistency and effort that we know he is capable of playing with. We look for continued development from A.J. and expect him to take on an even-larger leadership role on and off the court during the offseason and into next season.”
Hammons was flirting with entering his name in the 2015 NBA Draft, but he was projected as a second round pick, at best.
“After getting the reports from the NBA evaluation process, I know what I need to improve on to carry my game to the next level,” Hammons said in a release. “This is the best place for me to develop as both a player and as a person.”
With Hammons back, Purdue returns four starters for the 2015-16 season. The Boilermakers lose their best player in guard Jon Octeus, but with everyone else back this team has the potential to be among the top four in the Big Ten.
“I feel that our team has a lot of unfinished business to reach next season and I want to be a part of something special,” Hammons said. “Purdue is an outstanding school with great people and the chance to compete for a Big Ten Championship and more is something I want to experience again with my teammates.”