Jalen Hudson

Guard Jalen Hudson led the Gators with 23 points off of 50 percent shooting in Florida's Round of 32 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday 

The Florida Gators men’s basketball team got a big lift for next season.

Rising senior transfer Jalen Hudson opted not to enter into the 2018 NBA Draft after declaring for the event without an agent.

Instead, the guard out of Richmond, Virginia, will return to UF to utilize his final year of eligibility.

Hudson was the leading scorer for the Gators last season, averaging 15.5 points per game.

Hudson, an integral part of the UF offense, will return as the two other leading scorers on the last year’s squad, graduates Egor Koulechov and Chris Chiozza, completed their final year of eligibility last season.

After he announced that he would test the NBA waters, Hudson was surprisingly not extended an invite to the NBA Combine, a pre-draft test of measurements and skills.

He joins a backcourt of senior KeVaughn Allen, sophomore Mike Okauru, sophomore Deaundre Ballard and incoming freshmen Andrew Nembhard and Noah Locke.

The Florida Gators roster now consists of the backcourt listed above plus frontcourt members Chase Johnson, Isaiah Stokes, Keith Stone, Kevarrius Hayes, Dontay Bassett, Gorjok Gak, newcomer Keyontae Johnson, and walk-ons Mak Krause and Andrew Fava.

Head coach Mike White has yet to comment on Hudson’s return.

The Gators have made the NCAA Tournament the past two years and were one of the NCAA’s and were knocked out of the round of 32 by Texas Tech.

You can follow Chris O’Brien on Twitter @THEChrisOB and contact him at [email protected].

Chris O'Brien is currently the men's basketball beat writer at the Alligator. He's a sophomore at the University of Florida and aspires to be an on-air sports reporter someday.