The 2013 recruiting cycle has been rather quiet for UCLA basketball, as the Bruins only have three recruits committed to come to Westwood next year and have very few outstanding offers.
One of the biggest remaining targets for head coach Ben Howland was Gavin Schilling, a 3-star power forward out of Findlay Prep in Nevada. At 6’9″ and 205 pounds, Schilling has a big body with lots of room to fill out, something that UCLA is sorely lacking on its current roster.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, Schilling made his decision earlier today and UCLA was not in the cards. With a final list consisting of Minnesota, Villanova, Michigan State and UCLA, Schilling decided to join Tom Izzo in East Lansing. Because Schilling is slated to become a Spartan, the Bruins are stuck back at square one with no more big men considering them in the 2013 class.
Jordan is a 5-star shoot-first point out of Philadelphia (Vaux Roberts) that possesses an innate ability to get to the rim and create. The 6’4″, 185-pound athlete is averaging 25 points, 4.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds as a senior, making him the highest-rated guard yet to declare in the 2013 class.
In addition to UCLA, Jordan is considering St. John’s and Temple, though the Owls may have the edge as the only hometown option. Jordan is expected to announce his commitment on April 15, as reported by Philly.com. Interestingly, that’s one day before the 2013 NBA Draft declaration deadline, which could have a major effect on where Jordan fits as a true freshman next year.
Mathieu, unlike Jordan, is not a very highly regarded prospect. Coming out of junior college, the 5’9″, 160-pound PG is a bit undersized, but still plenty capable. Washington State and UCLA are the only major DI programs to offer Mathieu, though he has a myriad of mid-major offers.
Coach Howland has had success with transfers recently, most notably point guards Lazeric Jones and Larry Drew II, so the potential is there for success. But at the same time, the Bruins’ roster is packed with guards, including two already signed in 2013, so Mathieu may not be a great fit at this point.
Whether Jordan or Mathieu commits to UCLA is not really a huge deal, as neither fills a major position of need. Jordan would definitely be a welcome addition to the crew simply because of his scoring, but what the Bruins really needed in 2013 was a big man.
With Travis Wear and David Wear entering their senior seasons, and maligned freshman center Tony Parker possibly on his way out, UCLA could be in a dire situation this time next year. Landing Schilling would have been a massive step in the right direction, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.
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