Last week, the UCLA basketball team received a much needed transfer from senior combo guard Jon Octeus. Needless to say, this is a huge relief for head coach Steve Alford and the Bruins as they would have been a little thin at the guard spot going into the 2014-15 season. Since Octeus is a graduate transfer (from Colorado State), he is immediately eligible to play for UCLA in the fall.
With that being said, here is what the Bruins’ depth chart could look like in 2014-15:
|Point Guard||Shooting Guard||Small Forward||Power Forward||Center|
|Bryce Alford||Jon Octeus||Norman Powell||Kevon Looney||Tony Parker|
|Isaac Hamilton||Noah Allen||Jonah Bolden||Wanaah Bail||Thomas Welsh|
Things do not look as shaky as they did in that period after Jordan Adams declared for the draft and before Octeus joined the crew. Now keep in mind the fact the several of these players can play different positions, especially the guards. UCLA does not have a true point guard, but rather three combo guards in Alford, Hamilton and Octeus. Each can handle the ball or play from the wing. Steve Alford has a lot to work with and a lot of time to analyze the best starting line-up with the best support. What could be a starting line-up one day, may be thrown out the next.
The truth is, there are question marks in regards to how Octeus and Hamilton will do in this system. Both will help out at different times, but very few Bruin fans have seen each player in their element. Still, it gives hope that the Bruins will not be run down with exhaustion at the end of games as we saw several times last season.
The same goes for the big men, which the Bruins have an abundance of. Tony Parker showed great improvement from year one to year two and should be a big-time threat under the basket. One of the reasons why is because he now has support to bang down low. Travis Wear and David Wear were the only other options in the front court last season, but they were more shooters than they were rebounders. The UCLA basketball team does not have to worry about that anymore with the entrance of 5-star power forward Kevon Looney and 7’0″ natural center, Thomas Welsh.
Above all, the Bruins have depth, which is big in trying to continue their success from last season. It is not the greatest, but it is something to start with. Don’t forget, UCLA has point guards Aaron Holiday coming in 2015 and Lonzo Ball in 2016, so the future is bright for the Bruins. But as for next season, Bruin fans can breath a little easier now.