The 2018 recruiting cycle has so far been sluggish for the UCLA Basketball team. Will it improve or were Steve Alford’s previous Top 10 classes a fluke?
The UCLA Basketball team has done exceptionally well in recruiting during the last two recruiting cycles. Unfortunately, that seems to have slowed down for 2018.
After a few years of less than stellar recruiting classes, Head Coach Steve Alford did exceptionally well in 2016, starting a two-year grand of top 10 recruiting classes. Not only were Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf and Ike Anigbogu essential contributors to the Bruins’ return to success during the 2016-17 season, but all three were selected in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Alford did an even better job this year as the Bruins pulled in six recruits which includes 5-star point guard Jaylen Hands and small forward Kris Wilkes, 4-star power forward Cody Riley and center Jalen Hill and 3-star shooting guards LiAngelo Ball and Chris Smith.
One would think that the recent success in recruiting, and on the court, would help the next recruiting cycle, but that does not seem to be the case so far.
As of now, the only player committed to the Bruins for 2018 is 4-star shooting guard David Singleton III. He is a fantastic outside shooter that should fit right into the Bruins’ up-tempo offense, but that is all UCLA has committed to the next recruiting class.
According to 247sports.com, UCLA is ranked 35th in the nation. Not horrible, but horrible considering the fact that UCLA’s crosstown rival USC, which is not a traditional college basketball powerhouse, is ranked 2nd with three 4-star recruits in tow.
UCLA’s biggest rival in the Pac-12 is Arizona who tops the rankings with three 4-stars of their own.
The Bruins got a reality check last week in regards to recruiting when the top player in the nation, Marvin Bagley III, who many in Bruinland thought was coming to Westwood, chose Duke over the most decorated school in NCAA history.
Like Bagley, other top-rated recruits have passed up on UCLA in the 2018 class. Four-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly recently committed to Arizona. Even though he didn’t seem to be favoring the Bruins, it’s just another example of how UCLA has not locked in multiple commits at this time.
It also points to possibe depth issues in the near future as Alford has not yet filled necessary positions. For example, UCLA definitely needs a point guard in the 2018 class as the outlook seems to be that both Aaron Holiday and Jaylen Hands might have a chance to be selected in next year’s NBA Draft.
The pool is getting shallower and even though signing day is not for several months, UCLA needs to land a few more top-tier prospects or things will start to look very bleak heading into the 2018-19 season.