Afflalo, Westbrook, Love: Which Former UCLA Player Is Having the Best Season?

Perry SchwartzCorrespondent IIIMarch 4, 2011

On Thursday night, in a win against the Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets shooting guard Aaron Afflalo scored 19 points, including a key three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.

Aaron Afflalo has been one of the Nuggets' best players this season both offensively and defensively.

For the season, Afflalo is averaging 13 points a game on 50.4 percent from the floor. He is also one of the top three-point shooters in the league.

Despite losing star forward Carmelo Anthony before the trade deadline, Denver has played very well of late, in big part because of Afflalo's impressive play.

Aaron Afflalo is just one of several UCLA players enjoying great years.

UCLA basketball, which has won 11 NCAA basketball championships, the most of any school, has also produced a record 77 NBA players.

From 2006-2008, UCLA had a steak of three consecutive Final Four appearances during which time they contained many future NBA players, including Aaron Afflalo, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison, Jordan Farmar, Luc Mbah a Moute and Ryan Hollins.

Following the footsteps of Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Walton and Gail Goodrich, several of these young former UCLA players are already NBA stars 

2011 All-Star Kevin Love, who played for UCLA during their Final Four run in 2008, is having one of the most impressive and unique offensive seasons we have seen in years.

Love is averaging 20.9 points per game, a league-high 15.5 rebounds and is shooting 42.3 percent from the three-point line. It is very rare for a player to excel at both rebounding and three-point shooting in the same season..

Back in November, Love had a 30-30 game (30 points, 30 rebounds), becoming the first player to do so since Moses Malone back in 1982.

Of the five 30-20 games in the NBA this season, four belong to Love.

Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook is another young NBA star from UCLA. Now in his third season, Westbrook recently made his first All-Star appearance last month. Westbrook is having a terrific overall season, averaging 22 points, 8.4 assists,1.7 steal and 4.8 rebounds.

Westbrook's Oklahoma City Thunder are the No. 4 seed in the West and are a sleeper to make it to the NBA Finals this season. Over the last three seasons, as Westbrook and All-Star forward Kevin Durant have each gotten better each year, so have the Thunder.

Up until recently, North Carolina had the most talent in the NBA with players like Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace.

However, no school has a trio of players currently in the NBA players as good as Afllalo, Love and Westbrook

Meanwhile, Jrue Holiday, in his second NBA season, is yet another player from UCLA having a breakout season. Holiday is averaging 13.8 points and 6.3 assists as the starting point guard for the No. 7 seeded Philadelphia 76ers. With the young and talented Holiday, we may have another star in the making.

As of right now, Kevin Love is having the best season of any former UCLA player from a statistical standpoint. However, Westbrook and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder have the best shot of making it deep into the postseason.