How will Paige Bueckers' withdrawal from WNBA Draft impact UConn?

Storrs, Connecticut - Hold your applause Huskies fans! Paige Bueckers has one more senior night to go.

Paige Bueckers has decided to return to NCAA basketball for another year rather than joining the WNBA.
Paige Bueckers has decided to return to NCAA basketball for another year rather than joining the WNBA.  © Greg Fiume / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

On Friday night, UConn star Paige Bueckers celebrated her first senior night.

But the Huskies point guard shocked the basketball world with news of her plans to return to the NCAA and forgo the 2024 WNBA Draft, where she was projected to be selected in the top 3.

"I know everybody wants me to address the elephant in the room. Unfortunately, this will not be my last Senior Night here at UConn. I'm coming back," she said in front of a roaring sold-out crowd at Gampel Pavillion.

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After watching her team reach the Elite Eight without her last year due to a torn ACL, the 21-year-old made a triumphant return this season. The 2021 Naismith Player of the Year currently averages 20 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists for No. 15 UConn so far this season.

Bueckers, the first woman ever to become the top player in college basketball after one year on the court, has two years of eligibility remaining.

What will Paige Bueckers' return mean for UConn basketball?

Paige Bueckers' (r.) decision to return to UConn next season significantly boosts the Huskies' lineup for next year.
Paige Bueckers' (r.) decision to return to UConn next season significantly boosts the Huskies' lineup for next year.  © Greg Fiume / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Paige Bueckers was highly anticipated as a top pick in the WNBA draft this season. However, her decision to stay at UConn means that WNBA teams will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the star athlete.

This decision significantly boosts UConn's lineup for next season, especially with Azzi Fudd – who is currently recovering from an ACL injury – also set to return.

UConn has been hampered by numerous injuries, impacting their performance on the court. With their veteran roster expected to be at full strength next season, the Huskies will undoubtedly be one of the big teams to watch out for.

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In addition to Bueckers, senior Aubrey Griffin has announced her return for another season at UConn.

Seniors Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Mühl have yet to announce their decisions.

Cover photo: Greg Fiume / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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