UCLA Basketball Recruiting: Hi, Zach LaVine


As the 2013 UCLA basketball recruiting season carries on, we attempt to take a look at some of the recruits that UCLA has offered whose interest in becoming a Bruin is solid. We’ve already talked about 2013 center BeeJay Anya, who has the potential to become a freaking beast. Now let’s have a gander at a 2013 point guard who has “high” interest — according to Scout — in becoming a Bruin: Zach LaVine.

A look, first, at his vitals: LaVine’s got the height of a point guard at 6’3” but has a bit of a smaller frame with less weight to throw around than the average point, weighing in at just 165 pounds.

If his height and weight are any indication of his strength, than it seems as if he’s prone to being roughed up and thrown off relatively easy. Based on scouting reports, this is true, and an area that’s considered a weakness is, indeed, his strength.

But what does this dude do well? For starters, the kid’s a score-first point who looks to attack and create his own shot off the dribble. The scouting reports agree that he does this pretty damn well, even with his skinny frame. This comes at a cost, though, and it’s obvious what the hell that cost is: Creating wide-open looks for teammates.

For this we look at a highlight tape, and critique the hell out of it to see what is wrong with what apparently are his strong-points:

It’s obvious from this that LaVine loves to attack and score, but there are a lot of things to be picky about here.

For one, in almost all of his possessions, LaVine seems to take a shot pretty damn early, and he doesn’t seem to give up the ball all that much. In fact, in all the halfcourt situations, LaVine entirely stops the ball movement and dribbles around for a few seconds before taking a long-ass contested three-pointer or driving the lane with only a shot attempt in his mind as an option.

Of course, what he does do well is done at an incredibly high level with terrific ball-handling skills and his ability to change direction efficiently and effectively. He’s a scoring machine that looks like he can be difficult to stop, but he’ll also need to work on his skills to help round him out a little, namely his strength and ability to create shots for his boys. There’s not a doubt in my mind that the dude can develop these assets well enough in the next year or so.