If heavy sanctions come down upon USC and Arizona, the UCLA Basketball team could reap the benefits starting this season and for many to come.
As you might have heard, there is a heavy topic floating around the world of college basketball. Several schools, coaches and players have allegedly been involved in wrongdoing, which has involved an investigation by the FBI, and the UCLA Basketball team could benefit.
Not that the Bruins are looking to take advantage of this heinous situation, but if UCLA is completely vindicated of this (as of now, UCLA has not been named in the investigation), this could be a basket of gifts that offers itself to the Bruins on a silver platter.
Yesterday, USC assistant coach Tony Bland and Arizona assistant coach Emmanuel Richardson were arrested in connection with the on-going investigation which has both coaches linked to corruption charges. This could be very bad for the Trojans and Wildcats starting this season.
So far, not a single player from either school has been named in connection, but once they do, it seems inevitable that 2-3 players from each team could be labeled ineligible by the NCAA. This would be very bad for both teams who are projected to be contenders for the Pac-12. If they lose these players, their roster will take a hit and would most likely not be as strong as predicted.
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If USC and Arizona lose that much talent, the Pac-12 could be a two-team race between UCLA and Oregon, especially if the Trojans and Wildcats are banned from post-season play.
Looking toward the future, USC and Arizona could also lose scholarships. Two things can happen from this: (1) they would have to rescind scholarships (or not have any available to offer) to players already committed or planning to commit or (2) players will not even look at these two programs because of possible sanctions.
BustingBrackets.com has an interesting take on this situation, “With the news going on, there’s a chance that one or even all [USC and Arizona recruits] reopen their recruitment. Considering these guys are possible one-year players, any postseason ban will deter them from coming.
So where will these players go? If they are looking to stay out west with a top tier program, UCLA seems like the most likely landing spot.
The Bruins only have one player committed to the 2018 class, 4-star SG David Singleton III (USC and Arizona have three each). If this investigation leads to sanctions, I would not be surprised to hear that they head towards Westwood.