Tar Heels' Luke Maye to withdraw name from draft, return for senior season

North Carolina forward Luke Maye announced Thursday he plans to withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return to the Tar Heels for his senior season.

Maye had entered the draft without an agent, enabling him to reconsider before the May 30 deadline.

"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 is eager to spend another season playing alongside Kenny Williams and Cameron Johnson.

"I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that I will face and there is no better group to do it with than my teammates and the Carolina family! Time to finish the right way with two of the best players and leaders that I know!" Maye wrote. "Let's finish our legacy the right way! #Road to Minneapolis"

Maye had a breakout junior season at North Carolina, averaging 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 43.1 percent from 3-point range. He had averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds as a sophomore but was thrust into a larger role with numerous frontcourt departures after the 2016-17 season.

Maye had notable big games throughout his junior year, going for 28 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists against Arkansas in November and 32 points and 18 rebounds against Boston College in early January. He also averaged 32.0 points and 14.5 rebounds in two games against NC State.

Maye is a likely preseason All-American and could be the best returning player in college basketball. Of the 15 players selected by the Associated Press as All-Americans last season, Maye is one of just three players returning, along with Purdue's Carsen Edwards and Virginia's Kyle Guy.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams is losing seniors Joel Berry and Theo Pinson from last season but will have one of the best frontcourts in the country. In addition to Maye, North Carolina brings back Johnson (12.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG) and three young big men: Sterling Manley, Garrison Brooks and Brandon Huffman. The Tar Heels also welcome top-10 recruit Nassir Little (No. 6 in the ESPN 100), who earned MVP honors at the McDonald's All American Game in March.