Kyle Anderson returning to UCLA for sophomore season

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Kyle Anderson will return to UCLA for his sophomore season, confirming reports from late March that had Anderson doing just that.

The confirmation came from CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman.

Anderson showed a complete game in his first season with the Bruins, averaging 9.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 29.9 minutes per for UCLA, which lost to Minnesota in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament. Anderson will also return to a program with a new coach after Steve Alford replaced Ben Howland.

The 6-8 Anderson seemed to struggle early in the season with sporadic scoring, with games of two, zero, nine and one point in a four-game span, and decision-making. He acclimated the college game in time for Pac-12 Conference play and turned out to be one of the most important players down the stretch, helping the Bruins to the Pac-12 regular season title. He recorded eight double-doubles, including a 21-point, 15-board performance in a 79-74 overtime win over Arizona State on Feb. 27.

Anderson had a decent season at the end, but was overshadowed by teammate Shabazz Muhammad’s play and headlines. This is a good decision for Anderson, a tall point guard who could thrive in the NBA with some time to perfect his already stellar passing ability — he carried a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio through the season. He finished with 122 assists against 73 turnovers and will probably take over a bulk of the distribution duties with Larry Drew II’s 7.4 assists per game and 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio exiting.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten