So how is everyone feeling after the completion of the 2013-14 UCLA Basketball season? A little surprised? A bit happy with the overall outcome? Shocked at the news that not just one, but potentially three Bruins will be declaring for the NBA draft this summer? Us too, but right now, let us focus on what UCLA will look like next season.
So as of right now, freshman Zach LaVine has declared, point guard Kyle Anderson is expected to declare and leading scorer Jordan Adams is going to “test the waters”. With this, let us just assume that all three will not be here next year, what is UCLA going to look like in 2014-15?
Seniors: Norman Powell
Juniors: Tony Parker
Sophomores: Bryce Alford, Noah Allen, Wanaah Bail
Freshmen: Isaac Hamilton (Redshirt), Jonah Bolden, Gyorgy Goloman, Kevon Looney, Thomas Welsh
NCAA rules mandate a 13 scholarship limit for men’s basketball teams. Not counting the two point guard commitments we have for 2015 (Aaron Holiday) and 2016 (Lonzo Ball), the Bruins will have 10 players on scholarship next season. For visual breakdown, let us see what the Bruin’s depth will look like:
PG: Bryce Alford
SG: Isaac Hamilton, Noah Allen
SF: Norman Powell
PF: Kevon Looney, Wanaah Bail, Jonah Bolden
C: Tony Parker, Thomas Welsh, Gyorgy Goloman
By golly, the Bruins are thin in the back court.
It only stands to reason that maybe in-coming freshmen Bolden and Looney could help out at the SF position, but the real problem is how few guards UCLA has.
Hamilton seems like a perfect fit for SG but has been rumored to be one of the guys to handle the ball if needed. If many Bruin fans had their way, Alford would be used as a back-up SG, but as we know, his father, head coach Steve Alford, thinks he is a point guard and will mostly likely be the #1 floor general. Fair enough, but that still only leaves UCLA with one “point guard”.
Here is where it could get a bit exciting, Bruin fans, UCLA has three more scholarships to hand out.
After next season, Powell graduates and barring a spectacular season, we could maybe see Hamilton, Looney or Parker make the jump to the NBA. In the season after, UCLA only has PG Holiday coming in, so scholarships are balancing out for the future, so here is my point…
For next season’s sake, Coach Alford needs to go hard at a point guard or two this off-season. And yes, maybe another shooting guard or small forward, just in case.
It is apparent that Coach Alford thinks the younger Alford is a point guard, but Bryce is definitely not someone that can play PG for 40 minutes. UCLA NEEDS to get another ball handler, whether or not Hamilton helps out at the one spot. The Bruins will be fine at PG after next season, but the position of UCLA is in question for next fall.
UCLA and Coach Alford had a good first season, but now it is time for the senior Alford to get serious and impose a proper plan for the fast-approaching 2014-15 season.
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