After starters Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, had all declared for the NBA Draft, it was looking like the Bruins roster was going to be full of a bunch of walk-ons and James Keefe.
However, Bruins fans can begin to relax a little bit, as junior point guard Darren Collison announced that he would remain at UCLA for his senior season during a teleconference this afternoon.
“Its my chance to do something special in my senior year”, Collison told the Los Angeles Times. “It wasn’t until this last week that I made the decision to return.”
Collison, who had averaged 14.5 points and 3.8 assists in 2008, had considered entering the draft after last season but decided to remain at UCLA instead. At that time, some scouts had projected Collison to be a middle to late first-round draft choice
Collison was projected as a high first round pick after being named a third-team All-American and a second-team All-Pac-10 player, but his draft stock plummeted after he struggled mightily during the NCAA postseason tournament. Mock drafts now had Collison going somewhere in the late first round, while some felt that he could even fall into the middle of the second round.
“I want to improve my medium range jump shot,” Collison said regarding his decision to stay. “Fill all the holes in my game.”
UCLA head coach Ben Howland feels that Collison could improve his strength and put on some additional weight, possibly up to 175 pounds.
“It gives us an All-American at the starting point,” Howland said. “We have arguably the best point-guard in the nation next season.”