Well, it looks like UCLA will be getting back at least one of the Bruin underclassmen who had declared for this year’s NBA Draft. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that Kris Wilkes has decided to withdraw from this year’s draft and return to UCLA.
Kris Wilkes withdrawing from the draft and returning to UCLA, source told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 29, 2018
It would appear that Wilkes has been told that no team planned to make him a first round draft pick this year since Scott Horner, the Sports Editor of the Indianapolis Star, tweeted about Wilkes’ plan and Wilkes retweeted it.
Here are Plans A and B for @kadw31 of @panthersnc.— Scott Horner (@ScottEHorner) May 17, 2018
'I see myself as a first-round talent. If the teams don’t think so, I’ll go back to (UCLA), I’ll kill it and there won’t be (any) option about it next year.’@ThisIsJMichael story https://t.co/fSNnbL5V3k
The original source of the quote is an article from the Indianapolis Star by J. Michael about Wilkes’ workout for the Pacers.
This is definitely good news for the UCLA men’s basketball team. Wilkes is one of three Bruin freshmen who declared for this year’s draft and, according to an article last week on Bruin Report Online, it wasn’t looking good for any of the trio to return.
Now, the question is will either of the other two freshmen return?
Jaylen Hands is probably the more likely of the pair to return since Cody Riley apparently is not enrolled in Spring Quarter, which Tracy Pierson of BRO suggested could be indicative of an issue with academic eligibility.
Both players have until tomorrow to withdraw from the draft and retain their eligibility.
The shape of UCLA’s roster for next year will start to finalize once that deadline has passed. However, it will take a little longer to find out whether or not Shareef O’Neal will be academically eligibile. O’Neal has not yet signed a national letter of intent and many have specualted that the reason has to do with academics.