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BREAKING: Chase Audige declares for NBA Draft, preserves college eligibility

Both halves of Northwestern’s dynamic backcourt are likely headed to the next level.

Northwestern v UCLA Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

If Wildcat fans were hoping for one more run, the chances just became a lot slimmer.

Per his Twitter, redshirt senior guard Chase Audige has declared for the NBA Draft. Audige joins fellow seniors Robbie Beran and Boo Buie to depart from Evanston this offseason, announcing Sunday night that he would enter his name into the draft while maintaining his one remaining year of college eligibility.

Audige came to Evanston after his first season at William & Mary. After sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, he made an immediate impact for Northwestern. No. 1 led the team in field goals made with 112 and had 37 steals, the third-most in the Big Ten. The New Yorker’s junior year was plagued by injuries, which Chris Collins admitted hindered Audige from making the leap that the ‘Cats expected.

Once fully healthy, Audige helped form the dynamic backcourt of him and Boo Buie, carrying the Wildcats to their second ever NCAA Tournament. Audige averaged a career-high 14.1 points and 2.9 assists a game. He totaled 28 points against DePaul, the most ever during his time in college.

While he was a good offensive player, his defensive prowess was one of the best in the nation. Audige’s 81 steals were the second-most in school history for a single season, and second in the Big Ten. Opponents quickly learned it was nearly impossible to score on the senior. In fact, he was so dominant that he was named Co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, given to the best defender in the country.

Over his four years, Audige provided some of the most consequential moments in Northwestern history. He scored 13 points in the final four minutes against No. 1 Purdue, including the go-ahead three-pointer to give the ‘Cats their first win in program history over the country’s top-ranked team.

All told, Audige cultivated Northwestern’s stifling defensive identity and gave everything he had to the program. From coming in as a little-known transfer, Chase Audige leaves Evanston as a cornerstone of Northwestern men’s basketball.