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Arizona State starting PG Frankie Collins withdraws from NBA Draft, returns to Sun Devils

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Arizona State starting point guard Frankie Collins announced on social media today that he is withdrawing from the 2023 NBA Draft and returning to the Sun Devils next season.

Collins did exactly what he said he wanted to do last season as only a sophomore after transferring over from Michigan, who advanced to the Sweet 16 in Collins’ lone season there: help take the Sun Devils all the way to the NCAA tournament, even with a lot of new faces. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard led the team with 4.3 assists per game and averaged 9.7 points on 40.1% shooting, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

Collins also announced that he will changing his jersey number from 10 to one. The number one jersey was previously worn by guard Luther Muhammad, who is out of college eligibility. Before Muhammad, eventual national champion (at Kansas) and former ASU star guard, Remy Martin, donned the number for the Sun Devils.

With DJ Horne (transferred to NC State), Desmond Cambridge Jr. (out of eligibility), Devan Cambridge (transferred to Oregon), and Warren Washington (transferred to Texas Tech) all leaving the team, Collins is the only returning starter for the Sun Devils.

Collins alluded to this in a Twitter post.

Collins showed his leadership capabilities early last season, even on a team full of older players. Now, with him being a junior in the fall and the only returning starter, he will have an even bigger responsibility to lead.

Collins likely won’t be the only returning Sun Devil in the starting lineup, as Jamiya Neal is expected to join him at the three, as well as potentially Alonzo Gaffney at the four or five. The two-guard spot will likely be LSU transfer Adam Miller, and ASU has a lot of options for their front court starters with six players over 6-foot-8 (see roster tracker at bottom).

As of now, forward Marcus Bagley, who left Arizona State early in the season, is the only Sun Devil in the NBA Draft.

Star wide receiver Elijhah Badger was happy to hear Collins was returning to the school.

Arizona State now will have one open scholarship for next season with the return of Collins. Read more below about the options they have.

ASU Roster Tracker

Returning players (2): G Frankie Collins (removed name from NBA Draft), G/F Jamiya Neal (removed name from portal)

Players lost to the portal (7): F/C Warren Washington (Texas Tech), G Austin Nunez (Ole Miss), F Devan Cambridge (Oregon), F Duke Brennan (GCU), G Malcolm Flaggs (GCU), G DJ Horne (NC State), F/C Enoch Boakye (Fresno State)

Players gained from the portal (6): G Brycen Long, F Bryant Selebangue (Tulsa), F Shawn Phillips (LSU), F Zane Meeks (USF), G Adam Miller (LSU), F Kamari Lands (Louisville)

JUCO transfer added (1): G Malachi Davis (Tallahassee CC)

Players lost to eligibility (2): G Desmond Cambridge Jr., G Luther Muhammad

Players with names in NBA Draft (option to return) (1): F Marcus Bagley

Unannounced players (1): F Alonzo Gaffney (likely to return)

Incoming freshmen (2): Four-star G Braelon Green (CA), four-star PF Akil Watson (NJ)

My Predicted Rotation As of Now

1. Collins (6-1) / Long (6-2) / Davis (6-4) / Green (6-3) / Neal (6-6) / Miller (6-3)

2. Miller / Davis / Green / Neal / Long

3. Neal / Lands (6-8) / Watson (6-8)

4. Meeks (6-9) / Selebangue (6-8) / Lands / Watson / Gaffney (6-9)

5. Gaffney / Phillips (7-0) / Selebangue / Meeks

The Sun Devils can mix up these positions, as we saw them do several times last season. They still can look for a starting-caliber center without Washington, as they certainly have length but only one true center in Shawn Phillips. They like to play a lot of three-guard lineups, so there is a role for all of the guards on the team right now, and they appear to be set on guards. However, they could potentially seek out another small forward.

Despite all of the departures, Hurley has done a terrific job of retooling the roster, going out and getting players from the transfer portal that fit ASU perfectly and have either proven themselves with experience or are young but were highly-rated recruits out of high school.

Depth was a huge key for ASU’s success last season, and the Sun Devils will have it once again next season. Having what could be 12 quality players that make up the roster as of right now is a huge achievement that shouldn’t be overlooked, as Hurley said he wanted the roster to be complete by early May. Now, it is about trying to get these new players to gel together, as we saw them do terrifically last season.

With Collins returning, the Sun Devils only have one more roster spot they could choose to fill.

ASU starting center Warren Washington to transfer to Texas Tech

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on twitter via @Brendan_Mau


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