Kyle is Gone
In the no surprise department, Jeff Goodman of ESPN has the quote we have all been expecting by Kyle's dad who still calls his 6'9" son "little Kyle:"
"Kyle has made great strides in his mental approach to the game and his work ethic since being at UCLA," his father, Kyle Anderson Sr., told ESPN.com. "The major deficiencies in his overall game are his lack of strength, quickness and explosion, and inconsistent shooting. We feel that both of which can be addressed more efficiently with more time and repetition. It's more than likely that it will be time for Kyle to move on at the end of this college season."
This has been an open secret for a while. I tend to agree with what Eamonn Brennan says:
Anderson can always change his mind; it's not like UCLA won't have him back if he does. And, as with Smart, I tend to see this sort of open-book move as a positive for everybody involved. Why cloak your ambitions anyway? Why pay exhaustive lip service to your school, fans, program, coach, etc. when everyone already knows the score? Remember when Howland was chided for saying (before Muhammad could) that his star was definitely leaving for the 2013 draft? Every year, it's like everyone in the sport agrees to pretend that everyone else wants to be exactly where they are, and this illusion must be maintained until the season is over, at which point you are free to admit that you one day want to achieve your dream of making millions of dollars for playing a game you love. Huh? Why? It's completely silly.
So I am happy for Kyle either way. I know he will play hard this season and I am happy to have him for two seasons as that is becoming rare for a top 5 high school player. Actually Kyle is arguably doing UCLA a favor as there can be no doubt that UCLA will not have a point guard next year.
To me this only puts pressure on one person, Steve Alford. Alford now has no excuse, he has to recruit a point guard. Now the only thing stopping a point guard from coming is Alford comments on his son. (As a rival recruiter, I would use that against Steve Alford. "Hey, the UCLA Coach is going to have his son start, so there is no room for you.")
Actually losing Kyle also puts notice on Alford of another problem that many are overlooking. Kyle was UCLA's top rebounder last year. So not only do you lose your likely best passer and only point, you are also losing your best rebounder and two rotation bigs (the Wear twins.)
So what has Alford recruited so far? Two shooting guards. Ugh.
Alford is on notice he needs a point guard (incredibly badly) and a big(s). Since it is so late in the process, soon the only way to successful recruit will be to have a great season and grab a senior who blows up.
I know others will disagree but I am happy to have Kyle for two seasons. And if Alford fails to recruit a true point guard and a post or two, I will only be happy if Alford stays two seasons.