The season did not end well for Lonzo Ball and the UCLA Bruins as they fell to the Kentucky Wildcats 86-75 in the Sweet 16. Ball did not have his best night as he scored only 10 points to go along with eight assists and four turnovers. He was outplayed by fellow top-10 point guard De’Aaron Fox who scored 39 points for the Wildcats.
Despite the less than stellar ending to the season, Ball remains arguably the top prospect in this year’s draft and following the Bruins loss, Ball announced that he would be entering the NBA Draft according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports:
UCLA's Lonzo Ball tells reporters that this was his last game in college. Will be in play for the top overall pick in the NBA Draft.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 25, 2017
Ball had an outstanding lone season at UCLA as he was a main reason that UCLA had a turnaround season, finishing 31-5 after going on 15-17 last season. His court vision is outstanding and has led some to compare him to Jason Kidd. He also has outstanding shooting range and great size for the point guard position.
Of course, Ball hasn’t been the one in the news lately as his father, LaVar, has been constantly in the news cycle for his outlandish statements. His father’s talking won’t be enough to affect his draft stock, but some have worried if it could be a distraction.
Nonetheless, Ball will be hearing his name called very early on draft night as he, Washington guard Markelle Fultz, and Kansas forward Josh Jackson are the top-3 prospects according to most experts. Ball has a special ability to make his teammates better and Lakers fans have been dreaming of the Chino Hills product to suit up in purple and gold.
Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.8 steals this season while shooting 55.1 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from three-point range.