Leading scorer Jordan Adams will return for his junior season at UCLA, a source confirmed. ESPN first reported the news.
The Pac-12’s seventh-leading scorer was mulling an entry into the NBA draft, and filed paperwork to receive feedback on his status. Point guard Kyle Anderson, a third-team AP All-American, and reserve guard Zach LaVine had already declared their intentions to go pro.
As a sophomore, Adams led the Bruins with 17.4 points per game, and set a new school record with 95 steals. The 6-foot-5 wing’s return is the most significant offseason news for a team that is coming off its first Sweet Sixteen since 2008. His return makes him an early favorite for league MVP, and sets up UCLA as a firm challenger to Arizona for the regular-season conference title.
“I’ve had so much fun playing here at UCLA, and I’m really excited about the team we’re going to have next year,” Adams said in a statement. “Once the season ended, my family and I began carefully weighing all of my options. In the end, staying at UCLA for my junior year is a win-win situation. I’m glad that I went through the process, received constructive feedback and had time to reflect on what I truly want. I love being a Bruin. I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym and the weight room to get better, and I can’t wait for next season.”
The roster will already hurt without Anderson — the nation’s most versatile player at 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists — and would have needed to replace another 20.8 percent of its scoring had it lost Adams.
UCLA’s backcourt will undoubtedly be thinner without Anderson, but it shores up its frontcourt with a top-ten class that includes five-star forward Kevon Looney and four-star center Thomas Welsh. Four-star forward Jonah Bolden also signed with the Bruins yesterday.