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Friday / February 24.

UCLA’s Kyle Anderson to Declare for NBA Draft

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Prairie View A&M at UCLAUCLA sophomore guard Kyle Anderson will declare for the NBA Draft, his father has told SNY.tv.

Following UCLA’s 79-68 loss to Florida in the Sweet 16, Kyle Anderson Sr. told SNY.tv he planned to sit down with his son to “figure things out.” Anderson went for 11 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in the game.

“Kyle is totally prepared mentally to come out,” Kyle Anderson Sr. told SNY.tv earlier this season. “He knows he’ll have to get adjusted to the rigors and physicality of the NBA but mentally he’s always been a little more mature than the average age he’s at.

“His approach to the game right now is that of a person who knows this is going to be my job, this is going to be my livelihood.”

DraftExpress.com has the 6-foot-9 Anderson going at No. 19 to the Chicago Bulls.

“His strengths outweigh his negatives,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “Very skilled, perimeter shooting has improved and can rebound. Lack of defense and pace of game can be hidden by a good team with defensive concepts. Could end up being a Top 15 pick.”

ESPN’s Dick Vitale Tweeted at me during the Florida game: “Should be a lock top 15 – Kyle is a mini version of @MagicJohnson & that is high praise.”

Anderson averaged 14.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists for the Bruins.

Coming out of St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, Anderson was called a “modern-day Magic Johnson” by Hall of Fame head coach Bob Hurley. After transferring from Paterson Catholic when that school closed for financial reasons, Anthony went 65-0 in two seasons at St. Anthony, winning back-to-back New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles and a mythical national championship.

“He’s unique because there just aren’t a lot of guys that size who can play the point,” UCLA coach Steve Alford told SNY.tv earlier this season.

“You look at his numbers, as far as how much he has the ball in his hands, his assists, his turnovers and he’s shooting the ball much better. I just think he’s a unique player that you don’t see very often. To have a 6-9 point guard, I know it’s helped us because you make people think about how they’re going to match up to you right away having a guy like that.”

Knicks center Tyson Chandler also told SNY.tv he thinks Anderson has a place in the NBA.

“He’s a big guy and I’m not for sure what position he would be in the league, I’m not sure he could play the point,” Chandler told SNY.tv exclusively earlier this season.

“But just like the kid out of Syracuse is showing, Michael Carter-Williams, showing that big guys can still play the point and still have a place in this league….It just depends on how [Anderson] continues to develop.”

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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.