Leading scorer Jordan Adams to return to UCLA for junior season

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.

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  • MPPBruin

    Smart move, Jordan. I look forward to watching your game develop next year.

  • Biglar

    If Jordan can lean out his frame by ten to fifteen lbs and show he can guard twos, his draft stock will rise dramatically. He will no longer be a tweener but instead will be a prototypical two with proven scoring ability and quick hands on defense. That’s probably good for selections 10 to 20 next year, and probably better than Kyle or Zach this year.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Adams now has a chance to solidify his standing as one of the great recent Bruins, a la Afflalo, who also stayed through his junior season. Afflalo serves as a great role model because despite limited athleticism, his work ethic and commitment to defense have helped him carve out a very respectable NBA career (and lucrative contract). Adams is far more talented on offense although not quite the defensive presence, but his smarts and anticipation will fit well in any team defensive scheme.

    Adams is making a very wise decision, unlike Lavine and Anderson who are following in the footsteps of Honeycutt and Lee. Although I expect Anderson to stick and eventually become a solid NBA player, I’d say Lavine has about a 50/50 chance of being out of the league in a few years (like Honeycutt and Lee) unless he improves significantly and also finds the right team environment. Ironically, with his athleticism he also probably has the highest ceiling of any of the three, but timing, as in so many aspects of life, is critical.

  • pennyfan041

    Bigs: Parker, Looney, Welsh, Bail, Goloman.

    Guards: Alford, Hamilton, Powell, Adams, Bolden, Allen

    I can see Bolden playing a bit at PF if needed and Looney a bit at SF if needed. Either way, I like our depth. I don’t see Goloman breaking into the rotation, and I would bet Allen and Bolden will get limited time (10-15 mpg) unless one or the other makes it impossible not to play him more. You never know, though. We might have a legitimate rotation of 9 or 10 guys. Let’s hope Hamilton has been honing his PG skills. If not, let’s hope Bryce works hard on his defense/athleticism this off-season. It will be necessary to have better than an average point guard if we want to advance anywhere in the tourney.

  • OCBrewin

    Jordan Adams in statement: “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.” Pretty sure none of the players during Howland’s tenure said that…

    • pennyfan041

      Adams was a Howland player.

      • OCBrewin

        just saying…Ben Howland and ‘fun’ were not usually synonymous

  • Bruin4Life

    Welcome back from the abyss Jordan! Great to have you for another year…and maybe two…that UCLA degree is worth a lot if you have the patience to enjoy the life you have in Westwood, which goes by quick enough. Even if you had been a late first round pick, why not come back and sharpen your game against guys that aren’t monsters (in terms of bulk) like some of the NBA players are? You will feast on the college level again! I agree with others that Anderson and LaVine made a mistake by leaving, and they (or I should say, their parents…all they can see is $$$$$$$) will be lucky to develop into NBA talent. I think you have it, but you are smart not to rush it…it will be there in your future if you continue to work hard and develop. You have been my fav player on the roster for the last two years, and I thank you for making it three!

  • NOBSisdaMAN

    Adams found out he could make more money a ucla than the NBA minimum

    • ProbationU

      B O R I N G and unoriginal.

      • NOBSisdaMAN

        Copycat Copycat. Too much Ensure for you little guy

    • pennyfan041

      My first thought was, “Why doesn’t he go to bruinsnation to make controversial statements? They have a lot more commenters in their blog.” Cause, you know, folks who live for the controversy need an audience to respond to them. But then I remembered that it’s bruinsnation, and you don’t get to say controversial things. You get banished. So, never mind.

  • Bruin’77

    Outstanding

    Our backcourt may be the best in the Pac 12 (Adams, Powell, Hamilton, Alford and Allen too)

    Key now is getting Parker to stay on the floor, and hasten the development of Looney, Bolden, Bail and Welsh…

  • bruinbiochem06

    We are lucky to be getting Adams for another year. I can’t wait to watch him lead our team.