Well, that was shocking.
Four-start 2-guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes has chosen his top-five schools and missing from the list are the UCLA Bruins along with the Kentucky Wildcats. Here’s his list, via his Twitter account.
My top 5 are Baylor, FSU, Uconn, Illinois and Texas no specific order
— Xavier Rathan Mayes (@YungBoiMayes) August 24, 2012
Well, OK. I understand the picks for UConn and Texas, and I can convince myself that Baylor and FSU are not-horrible choices, but how UCLA didn’t manage to knock off Illinois, I’m not sure.
(Hell, how UCLA didn’t manage to knock off Baylor or FSU is shocking, too, but they did finish top-15 last year while our Bruins didn’t even make the NCAA tournament.)
This isn’t a huge blow, mind you, since Rathan-Mayes is more of a combo guard than he is a true 2-guard — he’s 6’3” — and UCLA already has a commitment from combo guard Zach LaVine, who is quickly raising his stock.
Still, it is a pretty shocking result, considering UCLA was supposed to have an inside track to the talented off-guard.
There are still quite a few other targets that UCLA can go after, and it is only August, and many major basketball recruits will have defected between now and April (when many highly-touted recruits make their decision).
But we can’t be too happy with this. Obviously, Rathan-Mayes knows what he wants out of a basketball program and UCLA just might not have that.
Or this could be a condemnation of Ben Howland. Whatever it is, it’s nothing to be have great worry about … yet.