UCLA's Welsh, Holiday Withdraw From NBA Draft | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / May 27.
  • UCLA’s Welsh, Holiday Withdraw From NBA Draft

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    UCLA coach Steve Alford got a double-dose of good news on Tuesday.

    Both Thomas Welsh and Aaron Holiday have withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will return to the Bruins for the 2017-18 season.

    UCLA loses projected top-2 pick Lonzo Ball and projected first-round picks Ike Anigbogu and T.J. Leaf but will return some experienced players in Welsh and Holiday.

    The 7-foot Welsh averaged 10.8 points and a team-leading 8.7 rebounds per game as a junior in 2016-17.

    “Thomas has worked hard all spring,” Alford said. “We supported him testing the NBA waters and are excited to have him returning for his senior year. He simply continues to develop each and every season. Thomas will be one of the top centers in college basketball next year and, undoubtedly, has a great chance to be a first-round pick in next season’s draft.”

    In addition to leading the Bruins in rebounds per game last season, Welsh also led the team in blocked shots (43) for the third consecutive season. He will enter his senior year ranking No. 5 on the school’s all-time blocks list (114).

    The 6-1 Holiday averaged 12.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game as a sophomore in 2016-17.

    “It goes without saying that we’re thrilled to have Aaron back for his junior season,” Alford said. “He played a major role in our success last season, and we’re going to rely on him in a big way as we move forward. He’s a team-first guy and a high-character individual. Aaron’s prepared to make even greater strides as a junior, and we can’t wait to see him to continue to develop.”

    UCLA also has the No. 3-ranked recruiting class in 2017 per ESPN.com. The six-man class includes point guard Jaylen Hands, shooting guard LiAngelo Ball, small forward Kris Wilkes and Chris Smith, power forward Cody Riley and center Jalen Hill.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.

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