UCLA is seeing a large portion of its starters declare early for the NBA this season.
Following an earlier-than-expected exit from the NCAA tournament, forward Ike Anigbogu becomes the third player on the Bruins team to leave early to enter the draft.
Anigbogu joins Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf in his decision to pursue the NBA with multiple years of eligibility remaining at the collegiate level.
His decision to declare for the NBA draft without hiring an agent keeps the possibility of returning to UCLA a possibility, though. Once a player hires an agent, he is no longer considered an amateur, and is ineligible to return to the collegiate ranks. He’ll have until May 24th to decide whether or not he will return for another season or definitively leave UCLA.
The Bruins will be hurting following the departure of Ball, Leaf and Anigbogu. The trio of freshman were the driving force behind UCLA this season. Despite supreme talent and good coaching, they failed to get passed Kentucky in the Sweet 16. If all three were to decide to return to the Bruins next season, which is already an impossibility, they’d likely be capable of ushering in another stretch of Bruins greatness.
Instead, it’s back to the drawing board with another crop of freshman studs who will inevitably declare early.