UCLA Basketball: Junior Guard Malcolm Lee Says He Is Staying At UCLA

ESPN is reporting that junior guard Malcolm Lee will be returning to UCLA, ending speculation that he would test NBA draft waters.

Blair Angulo reports the following for ESPN Los Angeles:

Malcolm Lee put an end to the rumors on Thursday night.

Lee, a rising junior, says he’s retuning to UCLA next season.

“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t coming back,” he said after playing a few pickup games at Collins Court inside the John R. Wooden Center on Thursday night.

Lee is a projected late first-round to early second-round pick according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, who uses the phrase “one foot in the door” to describe Lee’s scenario.

The Riverside, Calif. native averaged 12 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as the Bruins’ point guard last season.

HIMag’s Take:  This is giant news for UCLA and Coach Ben Howland.  This gives the Bruins a talented returning core of Lee and sophomores Reeves Nelson and Tyler Honeycutt.  Howland has done some housecleaning and has room for more recruits to add to the solid incoming class of Josh Smith, Lazeric Jones and Tyler Lamb.  He is also looking for one or more assistant coaches.

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