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April 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Kyle Anderson, Zach LaVine enter NBA draft

Kyle Anderson, left, and Zach LaVine are leaving UCLA and entering the NBA draft.

Kyle Anderson, left, and Zach LaVine are leaving UCLA and entering the NBA draft.

Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine made it official, they’re leaving UCLA and entering the NBA draft.

Considering Jordan Adams and Norman Powell weren’t included in Wednesday’s news, it appears as if they’re returning next season for the Bruins.

In a statement released by the school, Anderson said: “I want to thank everyone at UCLA for all they have done for me. My two years at UCLA were two of the best years of my life. It was a tough decision to make with my family since our last game, but I have decided to enter my name into the NBA Draft. I will still continue to embrace the UCLA community, and I hope they will do the same with me.

“I would also like to thank Coach Alford for everything he has done for both the team and me this year in so little time. Coach Alford worked hard at getting to know all of us from the outset and created a family atmosphere that was fun to be a part of. He helped me develop as a leader on and off the court, and I appreciate him giving me every opportunity to succeed.”

Anderson, a 6-9 sophomore point guard, averaged 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists in 36 games. He’s considered a mid-to-late first-round pick.

In a statement released by the school, LaVine said: “I am excited to announce that I will be declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft. I first and foremost want to thank my family for all their support in helping me through this journey to achieve my dream of playing in the NBA. I also want to thank my coaches, UCLA, my teammates and all of the fans. I will forever be proud to call myself a Bruin and will never forget the memories that were made here. I truly can’t wait for this next chapter in my life, and again thank everyone for all their support.”

LaVine, a 6-5 freshman guard, averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 37 games. NBAdraft.net believe he’s a lottery pick because of his amazing athleticism and three-point shooting prowess (37.5 percent) while Draft Express projects he’ll be taken at the bottom of the first round.

Losing two potential first-round picks would be a serious setback for most teams, but UCLA should be able to build on last season’s 28-9 finish, which included two wins in the NCAA tournament. In addition to Adams and Powell, the Bruins return guard Bryce Alford and center Tony Parker. UCLA also brings in a highly-touted recruiting class that includes five-star forward Kevon Looney.

Comments | More in Links, Pac-12 news | Topics: Kyle Anderson, NBA draft, Zach LaVine

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