UCLA sharpshooter Jake Kyman says he will transfer in wake of reduced role

UCLA guard Jake Kyman dribbles against Washington guard Cole Bajema.
UCLA guard Jake Kyman dribbles against Washington guard Cole Bajema during the second half on Feb. 19 at Pauley Pavilion.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

With his role having increasingly diminished, from regular contributor to reserve to bit player, UCLA junior shooting guard Jake Kyman has decided to transfer, the school announced Wednesday night.

Kyman’s minutes had steadily decreased since his freshman season, when a barrage of three-pointers helped lift the Bruins to victories over Washington and Arizona State. Kyman made seven three-pointers, including one that gave his team a two-point lead with eight seconds left, during a victory over the Huskies in January 2020.

The next month, Kyman made five three-pointers in the first half against Arizona State to help the Bruins overcome a 10-point deficit, prompting Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley to say he “looked like Larry Bird out there.”

The balance of Kyman’s UCLA career was far less electrifying.


After having averaged 5.3 points in 12.1 minutes per game while making 40.3% of his three-pointers as a freshman, Kyman’s numbers steadily decreased. He averaged 3.0 points in 10.5 minutes while making 38.5% of his three-pointers as a sophomore before barely playing last season except as an injury replacement, averaging 2.4 points in 7.9 minutes while making 29.0% of his three-pointers.

Kyman played only one minute in the NCAA tournament, giving up an offensive rebound and putback against North Carolina in the Sweet 16 while committing a foul. The previous season, during UCLA’s unexpected run to the Final Four, Kyman had played at least a handful of minutes in every game, making two three-pointers during a second-round victory over Abilene Christian.

Overall, the former Santa Margarita High standout averaged 3.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 80 games with the Bruins. His transfer was widely anticipated considering his reduced role and the arrival of another highly touted recruiting class that includes two more guards.

“I just want to thank everyone at UCLA who has helped make the last three years an amazing experience,” Kyman said in a statement. “I want to first thank my coaches, the staff and my teammates for the unforgettable memories, the countless laughs, the knowledge and the relationships that I have built and will keep with me forever. I have never been more proud to say I fulfilled my childhood dream of playing for those legendary four letters. I’ll always be a Bruin for life!”

Kyman becomes only the second UCLA player to depart since Cronin’s arrival before the 2019-2020 season, joining forward Shareef O’Neal, who left for Louisiana State. O’Neal recently entered the transfer portal again, in search of a third college destination.

UCLA will get a shot at redemption and a spot in the WNIT finals when they take on South Dakota State on Thursday.

Cronin, who has shown unwavering loyalty to his players, thanked Kyman for his contributions and wished him well at his next stop.

“Jake has been a great teammate and a first-class young man in his time as a Bruin,” Cronin said in a statement. “We are going to miss Jake, but as I told him, he is always welcome in Westwood and will always be part of the Bruin family.”

Kyman could draw strong interest from other Pac-12 teams and mid-major schools based on his history of making three-pointers in bunches.

Kyman’s transfer is the first of many decisions that will need to be made in the coming months. Peyton Watson, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang are candidates to declare for the NBA draft, and seniors Jules Bernard, Cody Riley and David Singleton must decide whether they want to remain Bruins for one more season or move on to professional leagues overseas or start life after basketball.