UCLA guard Jaylen Hands to forgo NBA draft, return to school

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA guard Jaylen Hands has withdrawn his name from the NBA draft and will return to school for his sophomore season.

Hands joins guard Kris Wilkes and forward Cody Riley in deciding to forgo the pro ranks for now.

Hands averaged 9.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Bruins last season. The San Diego native started 15 of 31 games in which he appeared.

Coach Steve Alford said Wednesday that Hands will be a vital part of the Bruins' backcourt and he has room to grow and improve.

Hands said the pre-draft evaluations were helpful to him and he's focused on improving his game.

The school said Riley will return after exploring the draft. The forward from nearby Chatsworth played in one exhibition game last year before a shoplifting scandal in China led to a season-long suspension. Riley, along with teammates Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball, admitted to stealing from stores during the Bruins' preseason trip. Hill also was suspended, while Ball withdrew from school.

The Bruins have lost guard Aaron Holiday, who is forgoing his senior year to enter the draft. He averaged a Pac-12-leading 20.3 points last season.

UCLA was 21-12 and lost in a First Four game to St. Bonaventure.