AUBURN, Ala. – After receiving valuable feedback from the NBA, Auburn sophomore guard Allen Flanigan has announced his decision to return to The Plains and no longer pursue the 2021 NBA Draft.
“I have decided to return to Auburn for my junior year to be a part of something special,” Flanigan said. “Family is key to me, and I’ve grown closer and closer to call The Plains a home away from home. The tremendous unwavering support these fans and university show is one of a kind and one of the best in the country. The NBA has always been my lifelong dream and goal, but I couldn’t pass up being a part of something special.”
Flanigan averaged 14.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while starting all 27 games for the Tigers during the 2020-21 season. He was one of just three players in the Southeastern Conference to average 14 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, joining Florida’s Tre Mann and LSU’s Trendon Watford.
“Allen was one of the most improved players in the country this year,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “His toughness, work ethic, athleticism and skill put him in position to realize all his goals. Allen would probably have gone in the second round if he stayed in the draft, but I know how badly he wanted to improve his stock and have an opportunity to play for a championship. He cares about Auburn and he wants to win championships. He’s going to be a lot of fun to coach next year.”
The Little Rock, Ark. native improved his scoring from 3.2 points per game as a freshman to 14.3 points per contest as a sophomore. The improvement of 11.1 points was the highest among returning players in the SEC.
Flanigan shot 46 percent from the floor, including 34 percent from 3, and 78 percent from the foul line.
Flanigan reached double figures 21 times, which was tied for fourth in the SEC in regular season games with Alabama’s Jaden Shackelford and trailing only Moses Moody (Arkansas), D.J. Stewart Jr. (Mississippi State) and Cameron Thomas (LSU) who each had 23.
Defensively, Flanigan had a team-high 24 steals and five blocks on the season.