UCLA Basketball: Who will be the starters and who’s on the bench?


After looking at what Bruin fans can expect for next year and with more than a couple players leaving for different reasons, it might be a good time to ask who will be the UCLA Basketball starters and who will be sitting on the bench for the 2015-16 season.

Mar 6, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Bryce Alford (20) celebrates from the bench against the Washington Huskies during the second half at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

With Norman PowellKevon Looney, and Wanaah Bail now gone, the only returning starters of this season are Tony Parker, Bryce Alford, and Isaac Hamilton. Who is going to fill those last two spots? Considering we still have a whole summer of training to look forward to, it could be hard to say.

Jonah Bolden, who was ineligible to play this last season, may be the player who follows in the footsteps of Hamilton. Like Bolden, Hamilton was not able to play in any games during his first year at UCLA, but that only motivated him to work hard and earn himself a spot on the starting line-up.

If Bolden shows the potential for being a better starting power forward than Gyorgy Goloman, I believe he could really use this next season as opportunity to show fans that he in fact earned himself a spot on the team that he deserves.

Now 4 out of the 5 spots are filled. Who is going to fill the last spot?

Of course there are some players on the team who are a bit more comfortable playing with the Bruins, but none of them aside from Thomas Welsh, have really stood out. With Parker still on the team as a senior however, Welsh will probably have to hold off on earning the starting center position until next year. Although it would be great to see Welsh start in a few games next year, this gives him a goal to work towards which may serve as great motivation for next season.

Feb 18, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins center Thomas Welsh (40) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Wells-Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils defeated the Bruins 68-66. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If comparable to Looney, and if all the talk about Aaron Holiday proves true, he could fill that last spot as the Bruins starting point guard. As the point guard, it will be Holiday’s job to basically lead the team on the court and relieve some of the duty off of Alford. After working with the team over the summer and becoming accustomed to college life, Holiday could be the next secret weapon.

There is also Prince Ali that will help out, but seeing as the starters may have already been filled out, he could come off the bench.

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In regards to our other returning players, we will most likely be seeing the same guys on the bench next year.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

Noah Allen hasn’t really broken out of his shell and may gain some more game time, but I doubt he will be starting unless he shows some major improvements when it comes to establishing himself as a versatile player on the court. Alec Wulff, who only played in four games for only a short period of time, will most likely be joining Allen on the bench as well.

A third guy on the team who we haven’t really seen yet is sophomore Jerrold Smith. If you were like me, sitting in Pauley and noticed a new guy wearing a uniform all of a sudden, you may ask who Jerrold Smith is?

Well to answer that, he is a walk-on who has been seen with the team and only started dressing in uniform for the last few games of the season. I would really be interested to see what he can bring to the table and what earned him a walk-on position for UCLA basketball.

The Bruins still have some spots to fill. Steve Alford has three scholarships to give and only has four offers out. It could very well be that one of these new guys could be our go to guy next year, anything can happen, we just have to wait and see.