June 17, 2006
UCLA junior guard Arron Afflalo, last season's leading scorer and first-team All-Pac-10 performer, on Saturday announced he is withdrawing his name from the upcoming 2006 NBA Draft and will stay at UCLA.
"As you're aware, Arron Afflalo signed the paper to take his name out of the NBA Draft," said Bruin head coach Ben Howland. "He's back for next year as part of our team and our program. Obviously, it's a great thing for UCLA basketball. We're very excited and we're looking forward to him continuing his career here at UCLA. He'll continue to get better and there is no doubt in my mind that he'll be in the NBA someday. It's just a matter of when, not if.
"I want what's best for the players," he said. "I'm confident this will workout in the best interest of Arron and his future as a player. And, it's great for UCLA basketball. He's a great competitor. He's one of the best guards in the country for next season. We're very fortunate to have him back in the program. He's such a great leader and a great person. He's the total package."
The deadline for early entrants (who did not sign with an agent) to withdraw their names from the Draft is Sunday (June 18/2 p.m.PT). Afflalo today faxed his withdrawal notice to the NBA office. The 2006 NBA Draft will be held June 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
"The process is pretty simple," Afflalo said. "I worked out for the teams (LA Lakers and Clippers/Indiana Pacers/Chicago Bulls/Cleveland Cavaliers) and waited for some honest feedback, which they gave me. It was very hard for teams to guarantee things. It definitely wasn't worth jeopardizing the great situation I'm in here at UCLA. I ran out of time to find out more. It was overall a good process and one I learned from, definitely.
"What's to be disappointed about," he said. "This is a great team. This is a win-win situation. I really enjoyed playing at UCLA and with my teammates, and hopefully, I'll make a lot of people happy with my decision."
In your decision to come back - what excites you the most? "My teammates," Afflalo said. "The character of these guys was something I thought I would miss. All of them want to win and better themselves, and I feel blessed to be around people like this. Not often are you around a group of guys like this."
Below is a synopsis of Afflalo's standout sophomore season, pacing the Bruins in scoring (15.8) and helping to lead UCLA to the NCAA Championship game (first time since 1995) and to the Pac-10 Regular Season (first time since 1997) and Tournament (first time since 1987) championships. In 2005-06, UCLA set the school record for most games played (39, 32-7) and tied the school record for most wins (32, with UCLA's 1995 NCAA Championship team that was 32-1).
4 Arron Afflalo (A-fla-low)
6-5, 210, So., F, Compton, CA (Centennial)
2005-06 PRESEASON HONORS - Sporting News No. 13 shooting guard in U.S., second-team All-Pac-10; Athlon third-team All-Pac-10
2005-06 SEASON AVERAGES - On March 21, was named a fourth-team Scout.com All-American. On March 7, was named first-team USBWA All-Dist. IX and a CollegeInsider.com Defensive All-American, and on March 6, was named first-team All-Pac-10 and the Pac-10 Player of the Week (for his play in the Bruins' sweep of the Bay Area schools). One of the top sophomore guards in the nation, on Feb. 18 he was named first-team NABC All-Dist. 15. He is an early-season Scout.com All-American and was named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team. In addition, he and Jordan Farmar were named the nation's No. 3 backcourt by SI.com on Jan. 25. Not only does he excel on offense, he usually is assigned to guard the opposition's top scoring threat.
He was also named to the Pac-10 All-Tournament team on March 11 and was an All-Tournament selection at the NCAA Oakland Regional.
In a school-record 39 games (38 starts, all but Senior Day), Afflalo averaged 33.4 minutes (No. 1 on the team/No. 6 in Pac-10), 15.8 points (No. 1/No. 7 in the Pac-10), 4.2 rebounds (No. 3) and 1.8 assists, while shooting .462 (203-439) from the floor, .366 (83-227, No. 3) from three-point range and a team-best .806 (No. 8 in the Pac-10, 129-160) from the line. He led the team in scoring 18 times and had 11 games of 20 or more points (25, California; 20, Oregon State; career-high 27 points vs. Arizona; at ASU, 21; at Arizona, 22; 23, Stanford; 22, Sacramento State; 20, at Michigan; 20, Coppin State; 22, Albany; 23, New Mexico State). He scored in double figures in 34 of 39 games this season.
During the final 13 games, he averaged a team-high 13.9 points, shooting .447 (59 of 132) from the field, .426 (29 of 68) from three-point range and .829 (34 of 41) from the line.
His 618 points rank 20th on UCLA's single-season list and are the most by a Bruin since 1998, when J.R. Henderson had 626. His 1,303 minutes rank No. 1 on that list.
His 83 three-point field goals rank No. 3 on UCLA's single-season list. Only Jason Kapono (three times - 87, 84) has made more three-pointers in a season. His 227 three-point field goal attempts are a new school record.
In Pac-10 play, he averaged 17.1 points (No. 6 in the league) and 4.6 rebounds (No. 20).
In addition, he continued to excel on defense. In Pac-10 play, he has shut down WSU's Josh Akognon, Arizona State's Kevin Kruger, Oregon's Malik Hairston, Oregon State's Chris Stephens, California's Ayinde Ubaka and Stanford's Chris Hernandez. He also held Memphis' Rodney Carney to five points in the Elite Eight victory.
AFFLALO'S 2005-06 SEASON HIGHS - 43 minutes vs. California (3/2); 27 points vs. Arizona (2/4); 10 rebounds vs. OSU (1/28); 7 assists vs. California (3/11); 3 steals vs. Belmont (3/16); 2 blocked shots vs. Nevada (12/10).
AFFLALO'S 2005-06 FINAL PAC-10 RANKINGS - Scoring -7th, 15.8; FT% - 8th, .806; 3pt. FGs - 4th, 2.13; Minutes - 6th, 33.41.
AFFLALO'S CAREER HIGHS - 43 minutes vs. California (3/2/06); 27 points vs. Arizona (2/4/06); 10 rebounds vs. OSU (1/28/06); 7 assists vs. California (3/11/06); 3 steals vs. Belmont (3/16/06), ND (2/27/05); 2 blocked shot vs. Nevada (12/10/05).
UCLA CAREER CHARTS - 3pt. Chart - His career three-point percentage is .372 is 13th. His 122 three-pointers rank No. 7 while his 328 attempts rank No. 7.
2005-06 HIGHLIGHTS - In the opener against New Mexico State, he had a then-career-high 23 points (8-14, 2-4, 5-5), six rebounds, three assists and two steals in 36 minutes. Led Bruins with 18 points (5-13, 4-11, 4-4) against Temple and added five rebounds and two steals. Contributed 12 points (3-8, 2-6, 4-4), three rebounds and three assists vs. Delaware State. Against Memphis, he had 14 points (5-10, 3-4, 1-2), six rebounds and one assist in 35 minutes. Against Drexel, he made two of three free throws to tie the game at 56 and led the team with 18 points (5-11, 4-8, 4-5), in 37 minutes. Was named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team. Vs. Albany in 35 minutes, led the Bruins with 22 points (8-14, 3-7, 3-6), seven rebounds, one assist and two steals. In 32 minutes vs. Coppin State, led UCLA with 20 points (7-12, 3-6, 3-3), one rebound and assist. Against Nevada, he played 37 minutes and had 18 points (6-13, 0-5, 6-8), eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal. In 37 minutes at Michigan, he contributed 20 points (7-14, 6-9, 0-0), two assists and one steal. He made a career-best six three-point field goals and kept UCLA in the game in the first half, scoring 17 of the team's 32 points. In 36 minutes against Wagner, he had a team-high 13 points (6-9, 1-4, 0-0) and four rebounds. In 31 minutes vs. Sacramento State, Afflalo had a game-high 22 points (career-high 9-11, 2-3, 2-2), seven rebounds and a season-high four assists. In 28 minutes vs. Stanford, he had a game-high 23 points (7-11, 3-5, 6-8), four rebounds, two assists and one steal. In a career-high tying 39 minutes vs. California, he led the Bruins with 19 points (5-10, 2-5, 7-8) and added a team high-tying five rebounds and one assist. In 32 minutes at Arizona, he led the Bruins with 22 points, making nine of 12 shots from the field (connected on two layups late in the game to preserve UCLA's lead/three of six from three-point range) and one of two free throws. He added three rebounds and two assists. At Arizona State, he led the Bruins in scoring for the sixth straight game, finishing with 21 points, including a career-best 12 of 12 from the free throw line. He also grabbed seven rebounds. He scored 15 points in the second half, including seven straight points (and nine of 11) during a Bruin run. Afflalo missed the final 1:58 with a bruised left hip after being fouled hard on a basket. In 38 minutes vs. Washington State, he had a team-high 18 points (seventh consecutive game leading the Bruins in scoring) and added seven rebounds, a season-high tying four assists and one block. In 32 minutes against Washington, he had 16 points, three rebounds and two assists. In the win over USC, he had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes and was highlighted for his defense against the Trojan guards. In 38 minutes vs. West Virginia, he finished with four points (his first single-digit game of the year), three rebounds and one assist. In 31 minutes at Oregon, he had 12 points and five rebounds. In 32 minutes at Oregon State, he had his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high and game-high 10 rebounds. He also had one assist and one steal. Against Arizona State, he had 17 points (15 in the second half), six rebounds, two assists and a season-high tying two steals in 33 minutes. Seven of the points came in a two-minute stretch to give the Bruins a 10-point lead with 2:40 remaining. Against Arizona, he scored a career-high 27 points (5-12, 4-10, 13-16) and added a season-high tying four assists, two rebounds and one steal in 35 minutes. At Washington State, he had 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal in 32 minutes while holding Josh Akognon to four points. At Washington, he had five points, only his second single-digit total of the year, four rebounds, one assist and one steal in 31 minutes. In 35 minutes at USC, he had 19 points (7-14, 2-5, 3-6), four rebounds and one assist. Against Oregon State, he had 20 points (6-11, 4-7, 4-4), two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes. It was the 10th time this year he scored at least 20 points. He had 13 points in the second half, making four of five shots from the field (three of four from three-point range). In 30 minutes off the bench (Senior Day) vs. Oregon, he had 14 points (5-8, 1-3, 3-3) to tie for the team lead and added three rebounds and two assists. Twelve of his points came in the final 11:14 of the game, including all seven Bruin points in a 2:27 stretch late in the game. In the overtime win at California, he played a career-high 43 minutes and finished with a game-high 25 points (8-16, 5-9, 4-6), a team-high seven rebounds and one steal. He scored 21 (7-11, 5-8, 2-3) of his points after halftime, including a three-pointer with 2:26 left in overtime to give UCLA the lead for good. In the win at Stanford, he led the Bruins with 16 points (5-7, 3-5, 3-3) and added three assists, one rebound and one steal in 35 minutes. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for his efforts in the Bay Area. In the Pac-10 Tourney win over Oregon State, he had 16 points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal in 23 minutes. In the win over Arizona, he had 12 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 32 minutes. In the Pac-10 Tourney title win over California, he had nine points, three rebounds, a career-high seven assists, one steal and one block in 35 minutes. He was named to the All-Tournament team. In 27 minutes vs. Belmont in the NCAA first round, he had seven points, seven rebounds and three steals. In the win over Alabama, he had 13 points - all in the second half - two rebounds and one assist in 36 minutes. His three-point field goal with 35 seconds remaining gave UCLA a four-point lead (60-56). In 28 minutes against Gonzaga, he tied for the team lead with 15 points and added two rebounds and one assist while helping to defend Adam Morrison. In the win over Memphis, he led the team with 15 points (2-9, 2-4, 9-10) and added three rebounds in 35 minutes while holding Rodney Carney to five points. He was named All-Tournament in the Oakland Region. In the Final Four win over LSU, he had nine points, six rebounds and one assist in 25 minutes. In 32 minutes against Florida, he had 10 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal.