Ten days after guiding UCLA to a second consecutive Final Four, Arron Afflalo announced he was skipping his senior year and entering the NBA Draft.
The decision came as no surprise. No player may be more responsible for the Bruins' return to elite program status. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard, who was part of coach Ben Howland's first recruiting class, led the team in scoring in each of the last two seasons.
Afflalo averaged a career-high 16.9 points a game this past season and was voted the Pac-10 Player of the Year. He was remarkably consistent, scoring in double figures in all but two of the Bruins' 36 games.
Afflalo talks about which NBA teams he'll be working out for, his new workout schedule, and why he won't be going to the NBA pre-draft camp in the first installment of his Rivals.com NBA Draft diary.
"I've been training in San Francisco for the last five weeks, trying to get my body in the best possible condition.
"It's not the typical training that I'm used to. I'm working out two to three times a day with a personal trainer. I get up around 7 a.m. to get some food - so I won't cramp up later in the day - and then go back to sleep. By 8:30 I'm in the gym, working on my upper body. At night I focus on legs.
"I spend another two hours on the court. I don't leave until I make 500 shots each day. I don't keep track of the number of attempts, but hopefully it's not a lot.
"I've got one more week here and then I start going to individual workouts for teams."
Did you get your invitation to the NBA pre-draft camp?
"Yes, I got my invite, but I won't be going. I've got workouts set up with specific teams that I know have an interest in me. I'm going to San Antonio, Houston, Phoenix, Utah, Philadelphia, Seattle and possibly a few more. I'm going to be pretty busy (players can't start working out for teams until after the camp)."
You entered the draft last year, but decided to pull out and stay in school. Soon after this past season came to an end you signed with an agent, eliminating the possibility of sticking around for your senior year. What was different?
"This is definitely a new process. I felt I needed another year of school last year. I felt I had a lot to prove individually, and I think I still do. But I think I have a great opportunity and it's time to move on."
How did you go about finding an agent and what made you sign with Los Angeles-based Excel Sports Management?
"I didn't have to go through a long process of talking to a number of agents. I've known the people at Excel, so it was an easy choice. I have a lot of friends there. They represent Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd, Jerry Stackhouse, Emeka Okafor and a lot of other top players."
To read more about Afflalo and his preparations for the NBA draft return to Rivals.com in the coming weeks.
Andrew Skwara is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.