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Luc's Calculations

While some UCLA fans are intent on over-reacting to this past week's news (relying on "Star Trek" based "teaching"), let's look at the reasons behind Luc's decision to put his name in the draft.

From Brian Dohn on why LRMAM's move makes sense for him (emphasis added):

[T]he calculated move has merit, since Mbah a Moute is not hiring an agent, will remain in school and keep his eligibility, and a new rule allows for NBA teams to pay for travel to team workouts.

Mbah a Moute said anything short of learning he will be a first-rounder in the June26 draft will likely facilitate his removal from the draft and a return for his senior season at UCLA. He is currently projected as a second-round selection.

"If I get good feedback from teams, I'll probably go ahead and keep my name in the draft," Mbah a Moute said. "I'm trying to work myself into the first round and try to get a guaranteed contract. If that doesn't work, then I'll probably weigh my options as to whether to come back to school or not."
LRMAM is doing exactly what AA did after his sophomore season. He is just doing it a year later. He basically has one shot to test the NBA draft waters and he is taking it. If he doesn't do it now he is somewhat wasting this opportunity, just like Roy Williams did when he was clinging to his TOs when his team was getting blitzed by Kansas.

If LRMAM did this at the end of last season, I would have some sympathy for fans being upset at the decision. But to be upset with LRMAM for doing this at the end of his junior year is just selfish and nothing else. LRMAM has every right to do this. This is his last chance before he finishes college.

Here was Coach Howland on LRMAM's decision in the LA Times:
When asked whether he advised Mbah a Moute to enter his name into the draft, Howland said, "I supported him because I knew this is what he wants to do. I didn't say, 'Luc, go put your name in the draft.' "
More from Coach Howland on what LRMAM needs to do get himself in the NBA:
"He doesn't have to be a 3-point shooter at the NBA level. Just be a consistent 18-foot jump shooter," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "He really has to work on getting his rotation. Sometimes his rotation gets a little off, and that's a consistency (thing) ... as he gets his rotation to be consistently perfect, I think his shot will improve." [...]

Mbah a Moute is a stellar, versatile defender who can guard a number of positions, which could elevate his value.

"He's the only player I had who can guard the point guard at the college level, or a (center)," Howland said. "He can guard the Lopezes (7-footers Brook and Robin from Stanford), or he can guard a point guard on a switch. He's unbelievably versatile in that area. He's already there, and I think when he really puts his mind to it, he's an NBA rebounder.

"So it just comes down to him being consistent on his jump shooting, and he's going to be in the NBA."
If he blows up in these workouts and gets himself into the first round, then great for him, and I wouldn't blame him for not coming back. But if things don't work out for him at these tryouts, it will be awesome for our team to have him back.

Either way this is a calculated win-win move for LRMAM, and no one here should be bitter over it.