UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland announced today that Malcolm Lee will immediately withdraw from school and will hire an agent, forfeiting the remainder of his NCAA eligibility.
“After speaking to my family, I have carefully weighed all of my options, and at this time, I have decided to hire an agent and withdraw from my classes,” Lee said. “My three years at UCLA were the best time of my life. I will miss my teammates, coaches, faculty, friends and all of the great fans at UCLA. I have had a lot of fun being a Bruin and I appreciate everything Coach [Ben] Howland has done for me. I am very proud to be a Bruin and I will always call this place home. My dream has always been to play in the NBA and I think that this is the best time for me to try and make that a reality.”
Lee was second on the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game (14th in the Pac-10) and finished fourth in rebounding at 3.1 rpg. He also averaged 2.0 assists and 0.7 steals per game in 2010-11 and was named First Team All-Pac-10 this season as well as to the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team.
He scored a season-high 25 points in a home win over Oregon (Feb. 10, 2011) and scored 20 or more points five times this season. His free-throw percentage of .778 (112-of-144) was second on the team and ranked 11th in the Pac-10.
“Malcolm Lee gave a tremendous amount to this program over his three years here,” Howland said. “I’m really proud of how he has improved each year as a player. He’s one of the best kids I have ever had the pleasure to coach in terms of attitude, work ethic and commitment to the team. I’m very proud of everything he has accomplished in his tenure at UCLA. We wish him the very best in his pursuit of a professional career.”
UCLA leads the country in NBA Draft selections with 106 and has had 10 players drafted in the last seven years of the NBA Draft during Coach Howland’s tenure. Additionally, six Bruins have been drafted in the first round in the Howland era, including 2011 NBA All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, who were drafted as back-to-back lottery picks (fourth and fifth, respectively) in the 2008 NBA Draft. During the 2010-11 NBA season, nine of Coach Howland’s players started at least 15 games in the league with six of them (Arron Afflalo, Trevor Ariza, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday, Love and Westbrook) being a permanent starter.