It hasn't been a great 24 hours for UCLA. First, it lost to Florida in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night. On Friday, the Bruins lost two of their best players to the NBA.
Early Friday, it was reported that sophomore Kyle Anderson will enter the 2014 NBA draft. Now, it appears teammate Zach LaVine will be the next Bruin heading to the pros.
LaVine's father, Paul, told the Los Angeles Daily News that his son will forgo the rest of his college eligibility and declare for the NBA draft after one season at UCLA.
The 6-foot-5 freshman endured an up-and-down freshman campaign at UCLA, averaging 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Bruins. At times, he flashed NBA talent. At other times, he disappeared, like his five-point effort in UCLA's 79-68 loss to Florida on Thursday.
From the Daily News:
Few think Zach looks pro-ready right now, something not even Paul would argue. However, the larger point of contention is whether or not he would develop effectively with another year at UCLA under coach Steve Alford, particularly if he comes back as a reserve.
Paul LaVine said he’s heard enough feedback from NBA scouts and personnel, and believes Zach — who turned 19 this month — would be better off long term if he leaves school.
“They love him,” Paul said. “They’re picturing him at 22.”
LaVine was not ranked in the top 20 of Chris Mannix's latest Big Board, but did appear on his chart earlier this season, topping out at No. 19. DraftExpress.com has LaVine at No. 30.
Here's what Mannix wrote about LaVine back in January:
A strong first month of the season catapulted LaVine into the national spotlight, creating some buzz that the Bruins' freshman might be a one-and-done. “We [scouts] joke about how big this kid has become in the media,” a scout said. “He’s a prospect, no doubt. But he has a lot to prove.” LaVine wows with his speed and athleticism, but his half-court game is unpolished and execs are eager to see how he performs with more eyeballs on him.