We continue our March Madness series as the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 are played this weekend.
The UCLA Bruins aren’t a team loaded with NBA talent. They have three guys (Zach LaVine, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson) who all have NBA potential, but this team doesn’t have one true star.
The leader of the Bruins all season has been Anderson. He has led the Bruins to the Sweet 16 and looks to help them upset number one overall seed, Florida.
Anderson has seen his stock rise like no one else in the NCAA tournament. From a top 25 pick to a possible lottery selection, the sophomore do-it-all talent has been outstanding.
He is a 6 foot 9 long, lengthy player who has tremendous instincts. While he doesn’t have a “true” position, he plays some 1 and 3 for the Bruins.
While not a pure scorer, Anderson has definitely had some big games this season in terms of scoring. He is averaging 14.7 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the field and 49 percent from deep. Surprisingly, one of his biggest cons coming into this season was his lack of a jumper.
The biggest pro to his game might be his passing ability. Anderson can see above his defender on a nightly basis and always makes the right pass. If he is going to stay at the point, this will translate in a big way at the next level.
On the defensive side, “Slomo” is a willing rebounder averaging 8.7 a contest. He also has a block a night, so he seems to understand the importance of defense and uses his 7’2″ wingspan to help. A little under two steals as well.
As you can tell by his nickname, he isn’t the quickest guy on the court.
His lack of “NBA athleticism” is one of the biggest reasons why he was a late first round pick to many, but the way he does everything else makes GM’s still want him.
Other than his speed and quickness, Anderson won’t jump out of the gym and needs to put on muscle to his frame.
Although the jumper has been falling this year, he needs to be more confident in it and shoot it on a consistent basis.
Anderson seems to keep improving with every game. He was a top recruit coming out of New Jersey and is a real joy to watch.
The Lakers probably will have a top 5 pick, and Anderson just won’t have the same impact as those elite guys.
If the Lakers somehow drop to a pick in the 9-12 range, Anderson wouldn’t be a bad choice. He is in that Lamar Odom role where he can come in and play some point or slide over to the small forward spot and be a real play maker for the Lakers.
He would play well and understand his role on the team, but at the end of the day, probably isn’t a guy that is going to change a franchise when Kobe leaves.
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