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Just The Sports: Behind Afflalo For Once

Just The Sports

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Behind Afflalo For Once

When UCLA guard junior Arron Afflalo threw his name into the NBA draft hat last year, without signing with an agent thankfully, I cautioned him against making so foolish a move, citing the sour note with which he ended the 2005-06 season, especially in the two Final Four games of last year where he scored only nineteen points on twenty-one shots. Someone in Afflalo's camp must have e-mailed him an attachment called reality because he withdrew his name from the draft and went back to UCLA for his junior year. Now that he is declaring for the draft after this, his junior season, I am singing a different tune.

Afflalo's most recent collegiate season was a mixed bag as far as accomplishments go. If he came back to lead UCLA to a national championship, then he failed at that. If he gave college basketball another try in the hopes of raising his draft stock, then he also fell short in that endeavor. So then why am I not suggesting Afflalo try to improve in his senior season?

The simple answer is Afflalo will be unable to improve with another year. His junior season demonstrated that while he was able to largely maintain the 57.0 eFG% and 1.24 points per shot attempt of his sophomore season with a junior mark 55.6 eFG% and 1.19 points per shot attempt on 1.5 more shot attempts per game, he has quite simply hit his peak. No good will come out of finishing out his career at UCLA, basketball-wise. Armed with the knowledge he has nowhere to go but down, Afflalo made the right decision in trying his hand at carving out a successful NBA career.



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