The subject of LaVar Ball negatively affecting the UCLA Basketball team’s recruiting efforts were raised this week on a few Los Angeles-based radio shows on AM570, which could be a huge concern for the Bruins.
UCLA Basketball Head Coach Steve Alford has been doing a bang up job with recruiting the last few seasons. This year, the Bruins bring in the #4 recruiting class in the nation, which includes 5-star ballers Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes.
The previous cycle saw UCLA land Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf and Ike Anigbogu, who were all recently selected in the 2017 NBA Draft. Needless to say, it has been a good time on the recruiting trail, but things are a bit slow heading into 2018.
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So far, UCLA only has one player committed to the 2018 class, 4-star SG David Singleton III. According to 247Sports.com, UCLA is 32nd in the nation in 2019 with this solo commit. Though there are questions about Alford’s limited recruiting connections, there could be another reason.
The subject of Ball affecting recruiting came up in two radio shows on AM570 in Los Angeles. The topic was first breached on The Herd with Colin Cowherd and that conversation was referenced on Luntime with Roggin and Rodney this past Friday afternoon as Vinny Bonsignore and Rodney Peete discussed how Ball could negatively affect UCLA’s recruiting.
Listen to the conversation HERE, it begins at 106:00 mark.
The conversation starts with Peete and Bonsignore talking about Cowherd’s interview with former NBA player Kenyon Martin who talked about Ball’s affect on recruiting:
"Everything that is surrounding [the Ball] family is negative and that is unfortunate. I would definitely have that in consideration if Lonzo Ball was still, or Gelo Ball or Melo Ball was there and the dad is involved. I would definitely have some pause with sending my kids [to UCLA]."
Then Bonsignore weighed in:
"Here is my question, is what Kenyon saying, is that a sentiment that other parents are feeling? Are they feeling if LaVar Ball is part of the UCLA program, do I want my son going to UCLA?"
Peete emphatically said, “Yeah!”
Clearly, this idea is out there and it could be on the minds of recruits and their parents. If parents do not want their son’s to be around the “circus” (a term used by Cowherd) that LaVar Ball brings, that could be very bad for the Bruins.
LiAngelo Ball, the second oldest, is currently enrolled at UCLA. In two years, the youngest, LaMelo Ball, will be in Westwood. That means LaVar will be around the program for the next 3-4 years. If his presence negatively affects recruiting, UCLA could be in for a bad time during the Ball tenure. Speculating even further, that could ultimately lead to the end of the Alford era.
So what is Alford going to do to make sure Ball “stays in his lane”? He cannot control Ball, but he might have to have a talk with him and ask him to bring down the theatrics, though it seems unlikely that Ball would comply. Either way, Alford, as the head of the UCLA Basketball program, has to make sure that his vision for the Bruins is reached and not Ball’s.
Either way, what Bruin fans saw from LaVar last season is only the beginning. Rock, meet hard place.