Payton Sandfort Returning for Senior Season

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior Payton Sandfort has withdrawn from the NBA Draft to return to Iowa City for his senior season with the Hawkeye men’s basketball program, the forward announced Wednesday night.

“This process has been an unbelievable experience and thanks to everyone for all the help along the way,” said Sandfort. “But my heart is still in Iowa City, unfinished business. Trust in God’s plan always.”

Sandfort, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward, put up career-best numbers across the board during the 2023-24 season, averaging 16.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists, while shooting 44.6 percent from the floor, 37.9 percent from distance and 91.1 percent from the free throw stripe. He ranked second in the Big Ten in free throw percentage, third in 3-point percentage, eighth in scoring, 12th in field goal percentage and 13th in rebounding en route to third-team All-Big Ten honors.

The Waukee, Iowa, native scored in double figures in 27 games and posted a team-best 11 20-point contests, including a career-best 30-point, 12-rebound outing in Iowa’s NIT First Round win over Kansas State. He made a career-high seven 3-pointers in the victory.

During the season, Sandfort was one of the best shooters in the Big Ten, leading the league with 94 3-point field goals. He made two or more 3s in 27 games, three or more in 17 games and four or more 12 times. The 94 makes ranked in the top 40 nationally.

Sandfort, who became just the second Big Ten Player since 1992-92 to average 16+ points, 6+ rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 3-point field goals, made Iowa history during a Feb. 27 victory over Penn State. He recorded the first triple-double in program history, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and three blocks in the game.

“Everyone in our program is elated to have Payton return for his senior season,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “Going through the NBA Draft process has been very beneficial for Payton as he was able gain valuable feedback and meet directly with NBA personnel.

“We are looking forward to having Payton return as our team leader and as one of the top players in the Big Ten Conference.”