Earlier on in the week, we took a look at UCLA basketball recruit Zach LaVine, a score-first point guard out of Bothell, WA.
Today, it looks as if the “high interest” has translated into a verbal commitment, and this is a hell of a pick-up for UCLA. BOOM:
— chris foster (@cfosterlatimes) June 21, 2012
As we stated in our post detailing who he is, based on scouting reports and highlight videos, the dude is a scoring machine with legitimate ball-handling skills and a nose for getting buckets. If you want a reminder of how crafty of a scorer he can be, check this highlight tape:
The knocks on him are the knocks you’d usually find on a score-first point guard: He doesn’t create shots for his teammates too often, his court vision might be in question, his hair smells funny, yada, yada, yada.
The most important thing for LaVine to work on, now that we know he’s going to be a Bruin in the 2013-14 basketball season, is his strength. At 6’3”, he only weighs 170 pounds, and based on that video, that is definitely a wiry frame he’s working with. At the college level, you can expect some incredible defense from strong point guards, and it’ll be necessary for LaVine to work on being able to bang with the big bros at the Division-I level.
Regardless, this helps UCLA set up for point guards in the long-term. Larry Drew II wasn’t the long-term solution, nor do we expect Kyle Anderson to be around for very long especially if he lives up to expectations (and Norman Powell is a smaller 2-guard that struggles with decision-making anyway by refusing to slash). Overall, LaVine will give us a bit of a better long-term outlook in terms of depth at the point, a position that seems to be crucial to run Ben Howland’s slow-down offense.
HUGE PICKUP, DAWGS. BIG SMILES.