UCLA toppled by Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, but now which stars for the Bruins will enter the 2017 NBA Draft?
The first time that the UCLA Bruins met up with the Kentucky Wildcats this season, Steve Alford’s group knocked off the then-No. 1 team in the country. It was a high-scoring and truly thrilling affair. However, it also put a target on their backs as they were slotted to face Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on Friday night of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Despite trailing by only three points going into halftime, UCLA just simply didn’t have the defensive stops that they needed in the second half. The likes of De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, both of whom will have their names called early in the 2017 NBA Draft, were too much for the much less deep Bruins to contend with.
Ultimately, that allowed Kentucky to pull away and UCLA didn’t have the firepower to come back. In the end, that left them with an 11-point loss and an elimination from March Madness. Now the questions turn to the future.
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Specifically, the question that everyone wants to know is which players from UCLA are heading to the 2017 NBA Draft?
Of course, the biggest and most obvious name to discuss is their star point guard. Indeed, LaVar Ball will be entering—wait. Lonzo Ball will be entering the 2017 NBA Draft without question. He and his father have made no secret of their intentions throughout the season and they shouldn’t change. Ball is likely to be a top-three pick come the draft.
Updated: Yeah, he gone:
The other candidate to leave is forward T.J. Leaf. His projections in terms of where he’d be picked aren’t as favorable as Ball’s. However, he’s a fantastic player and basically a sure-fire first rounder if he does enter. By all accounts, he’ll be gone as well and UCLA will have to hope that they can rebuild after losing such tremendous talent.