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'Run it back': Yuri Collins will return to SLU for 2022-23 season with Billikens

"We're so excited that he's going to be running our team, as he should be," SLU head coach Travis Ford said.

ST. LOUIS — SLU basketball fans can breath easier. Their St. Louis native point guard is coming back for the 2022-23 season.

Yuri Collins announced on Twitter Sunday that he would be returning to SLU for the upcoming season.

Collins, who led the entire NCAA in assists last season, had previously announced he had entered the transfer portal and was exploring other options.

On Sunday, he posted "THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD," with a picture of him in a Billikens uniform saying, "Run it back."

5 On Your Side's Frank Cusumano spoke with SLU head coach Travis Ford on Sunday night.

"(It was) an incredible phone call. It was a great feeling," Ford said about talking to Collins after he had made the decision to return. "We talked, and when I hung up there was a celebration in the office, no question. We're so excited that he's going to be running our team, as he should be."

So, why does Ford think Collins is coming back?

"I think these young men are going through a lot. But I think he had time to reflect on what a special situation he had here," Ford said. "Playing on a really good basketball team, with teammates he's comfortable with that believe in him, he believes in them and a coaching staff that trusts him."

Collins led all of Division 1 College Basketball in total assists (267) and assists per game (7.9) this past season. Collins is SLU's all-time leader in assists with 554. He's ninth on the Billikens' all-time steals list with 225.

Collins is a graduate of St. Mary's High School in south St. Louis.

In his three years at SLU, Collins averaged 7.7 points, 6.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game.

The Billikens have added transfer Javon Pickett from Missouri to their roster this offseason. They'll also return their injured top-scorer Javonte Perkins for his final season of eligibility in 2022-2023.

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