Tim Bradbury / Daily Bruin
The UCLA Men’s basketball team has been bolstered by the play of their highly touted freshman Kyle Anderson. The Bruins’ young point-forward has been as advertised this season, which raises the question, go pro or stay another year?
Kyle Anderson has had a very productive, but not extremely special freshman season for UCLA, averaging 9.4 points and leading the team with 9 rebounds per game. These are pretty good numbers, but nothing that stands out and says, “This guy needs to go pro.” Most of what he contributes to the Bruins is intangible. He has a very mature approach to the game, and an advanced basketball IQ for his age. It is easy to see that Anderson is one of the more vocal leaders on the court for this team.
At this point in his career, Kyle Anderson would be a very intriguing professional prospect. Anderson’s combination of size and playmaking skills makes him a coach’s dream, but there are some areas of concern like his shooting and athleticism, as he is definitely not the quickest or fastest of players. Developing a reliable mid to long-range jump shot would be very beneficial to Anderson. Gaining some weight would also help, Anderson is listed at 235 pounds, but looks much smaller. For him to be effective in the paint at the next level, Anderson will have to be bigger and stronger than he is now.
Kyle Anderson has the foundation to be a very good professional basketball player in the near future, but there are parts of his game that need to be refined. Teammate and fellow freshman Shabazz Muhammad is widely considered a one-and-done player, projected to be a top-5 pick in this summer’s draft. If Shabazz does leave, Anderson would have much of the spotlight to himself as a sophomore. If Kyle takes at least one more season to get stronger physically and develop his jumper, he would be a player that opposing teams fear and NBA general managers salivate over.