Report: Veteran PG Tyger Campbell returns to UCLA men’s basketball

Tyger Campbell has been a mainstay in the Bruins roster since returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2019.

And the leader of all the conferences isn’t leaving Westwood yet.

According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, the UCLA men’s basketball veteran returns for his senior season in redshirt. The reporting deadline for the 2022 NBA Draft is set for Sunday night, but Campbell is going to let that slip by and stay in school another year instead.

Campbell posted a series of photos to her Instagram on Saturday night, captioning it with “IYKYL” and a series of emojis hinting at her comeback.

Campbell is a two-time All-Pac-12 first-team member, earning nods in each of the past two seasons. As UCLA’s starting point guard in 96 of their 98 games under coach Mick Cronin, Campbell averaged 10.2 points, 4.9 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.

The Bruins now await decisions from big men Cody Riley and Myles Johnson and sniper David Singleton, all of whom have a super senior year to cash in on if they choose to. Johnny Juzang and Peyton Watson are locked in the NBA Draft, Jules Bernard listed his name while maintaining his remaining eligibility, and Jake Kyman was traded to Wyoming.

Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr., meanwhile, revive it with blue and gold. The top two classes helped define the early days of the Cronin era, leading UCLA to a big late-season winning streak as a freshman, guiding the program to the Final Four as a sophomore, and reaching the Sweet 16 as juniors last March.

Through it all, Cronin had only Campbell to lean on at point guard. McDonald’s All-American point guard Daishen Nix waived his letter of intent to sign with the G League in 2020 and Will McClendon tore his ACL in 2021, leaving Campbell as the only player in the position.

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Heading into 2022, however, Campbell will have newcomer Dylan Andrews as a true playmaker coming off the bench to share the load, in addition to the return of McClendon and the arrival of star combo keeper Amari Bailey.

Reinforcements at this point could mean Campbell’s minutes trend dwindles a bit next season, but Cronin would be remiss to cut the playing time of one of the nation’s most beloved generals.

Campbell averaged 8.3 points and 5.0 assists per game as a redshirt rookie, then bumped those numbers up to 10.4 points and 5.4 assists as a sophomore.

Last season, Campbell not only recorded a career-high 11.9 points per game, but he also became one of the best shooters in the Pac-12 when he hit a 41.0% clip. from 3 points. Campbell also ranked No. 6 in the nation with a 3.2-to-1 assist-to-rotation ratio and was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award for Top Playmaker.

Even though his assists per game dipped below 5.0, he still ranked No. 3 in the Pac-12 in statistics for the third consecutive campaign.

The 5-foot-11 Campbell already ranks No. 10 on UCLA’s all-time assists list with 469, and he’s on track to enter the top five with Pooh Richardson, Tyus Edney and Earl Watson at his current pace.

Campbell will officially get the chance to do so and help UCLA claim the No. 12 banner in the NCAA championship when he returns in the fall for his fourth year at the helm of Cronin’s offense.

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