Updates from Sunday, April 27
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Adams has had a change of heart:
After changing course, sophomore guard Jordan Adams will leave UCLA and enter the NBA Draft, source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 27, 2014
Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy confirmed:
Jordan Adams confirms @WojYahooNBA tweet that he changed his mind and will leave UCLA. "I am declaring for the 2014 draft," Adams texted me.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 27, 2014
In a year where it appears all of the great college basketball prospects are deciding to forgo their next few years in school to enter the 2014 NBA draft, Jordan Adams is staying put with the UCLA Bruins, the school confirmed on Thursday.
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports first broke the news on Twitter:
BREAKING --- UCLA's Jordan Adams will return to school for his junior season, sources told @CBSSports. Story coming.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 17, 2014
Jeff Goodman of ESPN also reported the news with his thoughts on what this means for the Bruins basketball team:
Jordan Adams is staying at UCLA, sources told ESPN. HUGE news for the Bruins.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 17, 2014
Per UCLA's official release, Adams made the following statement about his decision:
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. 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.
Goodman also noted the loss of future NBA star Kyle Anderson earlier this offseason:
UCLA just sent out release that Kyle Anderson going to NBA. Um, everyone knew that. The one we are waiting on is Jordan Adams decision.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 16, 2014
Had Adams ultimately made the decision to forgo his final two seasons in college, the shooting guard likely would have been a first-round talent, according to DraftExpress.net, which has him going 24th overall.
Can UCLA contend for a national championship next season?
During the NCAA tournament, Steve Alford spoke about the progress the team has made in the last few seasons thanks to players like Adams and Anderson, per Abbey Mastracco of Fox Sports West:
"The foundation's been laid," Alford said. "I really appreciate what the players were able to do and accomplish this year."
Adams averaged 17.4 points last season for UCLA and also pitched in a total of 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game during the 2013-14 campaign, in which the Bruins earned a No. 4 seed into the NCAA tournament.
Along with Anderson, the Bruins also lost star guard Zach LaVine, who decided to enter the NBA draft as well. Max Meyer of USA Today points out this might give head coach Steve Alford some relief after dealing with the losses of both LaVine and Anderson:
W/ Jordan Adams staying & Byron Wesley transferring from USC, Steve Alford must have a big grin thinking about his situation vs. Enfield's.— Max Meyer (@TheMaxMeyer) April 17, 2014
The decision by Adams gives UCLA at least one star coming back after losing two notable players in Anderson and LaVine. With his scoring ability and leadership still on the floor, the Bruins once again have a chance at being competitive in the PAC-12.
After finishing just behind Arizona for the conference regular-season title, the Bruins will come back with an elite scoring threat. That, along with the additions of players like Kevon Looney, Thomas Welsh and Jonah Bolden, means UCLA is already loaded for the long haul in 2014-15.
While it certainly would have been great to have both Anderson and LaVine back for another season, having their leading scorer back from last season shows that the Bruins are ready to take the next step toward contending for a national championship.
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter.