With the way the UCLA basketball program has struggled in recent seasons, it would be hard to blame anyone for wanting to set sail for the NBA, and according to a report, sophomore Kyle Anderson is well on his way.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that Anderson is “likely” to leave UCLA for the pros after 2013-2014, and that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Anderson is a 6-foot-9 point forward with NBA skills and size who has languished in a college-first system under the tutelage of Ben Howland, and that apparently hasn’t sat well with Anderson or his father, Kyle Anderson Sr.
It’s tough to project Anderson, as his 6-foot-9 frame would be virtually unmatched as a ball-handling prospect (Magic Johnson, Penny Hardaway, and Shaun Livingston being the only reasonable comps for size), but he lacks elite athleticism. In addition, the otherworldly passing ability that he reportedly possesses didn’t exactly shine through as a freshman when he averaged less than 4 assists a game while sharing the backcourt with Larry Drew II.
To be honest, all of this could be rendered moot of Anderson struggles this season, as any player (even with his tools) would be crazy to enter the draft with two subpar college campaigns. However, most people (myself included) think that Anderson will flourish under Steve Alford, and if he can use his projectable tools in an effective way this year, he could shoot into the lottery of an already-loaded 2014 draft.
It’s a transition year for UCLA in more ways than one, and Anderson may be included in that situation.