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Sean Kilpatrick passes on NBA, will return to Cincinnati

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Sean Kilpatrick (Getty Images)
Despite his inconsistent shooting, especially from the perimeter, Sean Kilpatrick averages 17 points. (USATSI)

When Sean Kilpatrick gets hot from the field, there are few scorers in the country more dangerous than him.

And the Cincinnati guard will be back with the Bearcats for one more go-round.

Kilpatrick announced his intentions prior to a team banquet on Wednesday night.

"It's been tough the last couple of weeks. I got to sit down with Coach [Mick Cronin] and my parents, especially, and we talked about the future and what's best for me," Kilpatrick said, according to a release from the school. "My decision is I want to stay. I want to be the first in my family to graduate and get my degree."

Kilpatrick's shooting numbers took a hit during his junior campaign, as he was forced to do more offensively for the Bearcats. Despite his inconsistent shooting, especially from the perimeter, Kilpatrick averaged 17.0 points and was named to the All-Big East second team. Jeff Goodman of ranks him No. 98 among NBA draft prospects, No. 23 among shooting guards.

Had Kilpatrick departed for the draft, Cincinnati would be in a world of trouble – especially on the offensive end. The Bearcats already lose guards Cashmere Wright and JaQuon Parker, along with starting center Cheikh Mbdoj. With Kilpatrick back in the fold, Cronin has a good starting point. Sixth man Titus Rubles will move into the lineup, while a slew of role players are also ready for more responsibility. Among the newcomers, forward Jermaine Lawrence is a five-star prospect and should have an immediate impact.

Cincinnati went 22-12 this season, stumbling down the stretch to finish 9-9 in the Big East.

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