The first of many Bruins has announced their plans for next season.
UCLA men's basketball guard/forward Jake Kyman entered the NCAA transfer portal, the team announced Wednesday night. Kyman is now the first player to transfer out of coach Mick Cronin's program since Shareef O'Neal in January 2020.
Kyman has played three seasons for the Bruins as a 3-point specialist on the wing, and he has two years of eligibility remaining wherever he goes next.
The 6-foot-7 junior's time as a Bruin started far before he committed back in May 2018, considering his mother was a member of the UCLA women's volleyball team in the early 1990s, winning an NCAA championship as a freshman in 1991. Kyman also grew up in Orange County, a mere 60 miles away from campus.
“I just want to thank everyone at UCLA who has helped make the last three years an amazing experience,” Kyman said in a statement released by UCLA Athletics. “I want to first thank my coaches, the staff, and my teammates for the unforgettable memories, the countless laughs, the knowledge, and the relationships that I have built and will keep with me forever. I have never been more proud to say I fulfilled my childhood dream of playing for those legendary four letters. I’ll always be a Bruin for life! With that being said, I will be entering the transfer portal and look forward to the next chapter.”
Coming out of high school, Kyman was a consensus three-star recruit, and the Santa Margarita Catholic (CA) product was seen as a top-40 player in the state and top-100 player at his position. Kyman came to Westwood alongside guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. to make up Cronin's first recruiting class, even if both committed while Steve Alford was still in charge.
Kyman was a regular member of Cronin's rotation in the 2019-2020 season, especially after UCLA dropped three games in a row to Notre Dame, North Carolina and Cal State Fullerton that December. Kyman then burst onto the scene in the Pac-12 opener on the road against Washington, knocking down seven 3-pointers – including the game-winner in the final seconds – to finish with 21 points and the win.
Over the next 15 games, Kyman had three 20-point performances, averaging 7.3 points per game in 15.1 minutes of action a night. Kyman shot 40.3% from deep that season, combining with guard David Singleton to form one of the most efficient shooting duos in the West.
However, Kyman saw his scoring, usage rate, shot attempts, efficiency and playing time dip in each of the following two seasons. Kyman was healthy all year long this past season – at least, following getting elbowed in the eye by center Myles Johnson in a preseason practice – but he only saw the court in 23 of the Bruins' 35 games.
Kyman averaged 5.3 points per game on 58.8% true shooting with a 17.5 player efficiency rating as a freshman, only to go for 2.8 points per game on 48.3% true shooting with an 11.2 PER across his sophomore and junior years. Once one of the most reliable 3-point shooters in the Pac-12, Kyman shot 34.6% from long range as a sophomore and just 29.0% as a junior.
Across UCLA's six postseason games at the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments this March, Kyman only appeared in two of them for a total of four minutes.
Kyman did see his defensive rating dip below 100 points per 100 possessions, though, and his 0.7 turnovers per 40 minutes were the fewest on the team.
“We would like to thank Jake for his contributions to our program, and we wish him all the best going forward,” Cronin said in a statement released by UCLA Athletics. “Jake has been a great teammate and a first-class young man in his time as a Bruin. We are going to miss Jake, but as I told him, he is always welcome in Westwood and will always be part of the Bruin family.”
UCLA was going to need three scholarship players to leave the program this offseason in order to meet the NCAA limit of 13, considering three highly-touted freshman have already signed their national letters of intent – guard Amari Bailey, center Adem Bona and guard Dylan Andrews.
So the born and bred Bruin is now on his way out of town, and he is starting to look for a new destination to continue his collegiate career.