Luke Maye returning to UNC for senior season: Surprising?

Luke MayeLuke Maye confirmed Thursday that he will be withdrawing from the NBA Draft pool to return to North Carolina for his senior season.

Maye averaged 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in 2017-2018 for the Tar Heels, earning first-team All-ACC honors.

“I have had a great experience learning from the NBA process and growing as a basketball player during the past couple weeks,” Maye wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for all of their support. Through this process, I have decided that I am going to comeback to school to improve as a player and finish my college career.”

Maye, a 6’8”, 240-pound stretch four, shot 48.6 percent from the field and 43.2 percent from three-point range, impressive numbers, sure.

But is he an NBA prospect? Meh.

Maye is a classic tweener talent-wise, a star at the college level whose game doesn’t seem likely to translate into the NBA.

It’s not so much his size, because the NBA game is more and more getting away from otherworldly height and heft being prerequisites for post players, who are expected to contribute from the perimeter and dribble-drives as much as guards, as it is his lack of explosive athleticism.

At the college level, Maye is a matchup problem for most teams because most teams don’t have fours who can defend guys with Maye’s size and shooting ability in the post and on the perimeter.

But 6’8”, 240, isn’t anything special at the NBA level, where rosters are loaded with guys that size or bigger, and more athletic.

He’ll have a helluva senior season at UNC, and if he isn’t a first-team All-American next season, I’ll be shocked.

I’ll be more shocked if he sees any more of the NBA than the summer or G League.

Story by Chris Graham

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