January 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins student section cheers against the California Golden Bears during the first half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Looking Ahead At UCLA Basketball's 2014-15 Roster

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.

Stay with GoJoeBruin.com for more updates and information on UCLA basketball.

Mike W.R.

Twitter: @TheBigDisco

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Tags: Basketball UCLA Bruins

  • RoycePowell

    The senior Alford is already very serious and has his proper plan in place, in place for the next 3 years: BRYCE ALFORD. Why look anywhere else??? Thank goodness Zach is leaving….more PT for BRYCE. I think we are set for next year! Can’t wait to watch the intense defense, oops, I mean offense, oops, well, you know…the intense looks on the face of our PG…fun times ahead. enjoy.

    • Mike W.R.

      Let us just he has some premonition that Bryce cannot do it all.

      • RoycePowell

        Bryce really needs to come off the bench in the 2 spot…shooting guard…but as a backup. We still need a starting PG for next season..maybe Steve 2.0 will pull something out of his hat…

  • pennyfan041

    I think Noah Allen is a SF, and Powell is a SG. Also, Bolden comes in as a combo forward who will probably come off the bench as a SF. We have enough PFs to justify moving him to a permanent SF spot. I’ve read in other places that Hamilton often runs the offense in practices. My guess is that He will start at PG unless Adams makes the jump to the NBA. If that happens, I’m assuming Bryce will start at PG. For some reason, people seem to forget that Bryce is a good basketball player. Lavine sucked just as much on the defensive end. Give the dude a chance to become a non-freshman. He’ll get better defensively AND offensively. Seriously…good grief. Leave the kid alone and let him play basketball. Who cares if he’s the coach’s son? Who cares if he is a good shooter? He averaged 2 assists per game as the backup, and he didn’t always run the offense when he was in there. It stands to reason he can improve and be a decent PG. If we’re lucky, Adams will stay, and Bryce will play the backup position behind Hamilton. If not, we’ll be fine.

    • pennyfan041

      oops…3 assists, not 2. even better.

    • Mike W.R.

      Very good points. But it is notable how he played as a SG in the Oregon. He looked comfortable and scored over 30 points. If he can grow into a proper PG, then that is great, but regardless, Coach Alford needs another ball handler.

      • pennyfan041

        I agree on that point. We’ll be one year without a second PG unless Hamilton takes the reigns there. He was the sort of highly regarded recruit that often makes a legitimate case for a starting spot as a freshman. He’s practiced with UCLA for a year now, so here’s to hoping he plays the 1, at least until Jrue’s little brother and Lonzo Ball come to Westwood.

        I wouldn’t mind seeing Bryce play both the 1 and the 2.