With everything that’s going on in the world of college hoops, especially with so many teams and players wrapped up in the FBI scandal, the UCLA Basketball team needs to focus on themselves.
The news surrounding college basketball in the last few days has been disheartening. Whether you are a supporter of a school that has been named in the FBI’s corruption investigation or not, this has given the sport we love a blackeye.
Fortunately, some schools have run a clean program and despite how distracting this is, they need to stay the course and get ready for the 2017-18 season. The UCLA Basketball team is one of those.
I cannot imagine how distracting this must be for a basketball player, coach, parent or fan at one of these universities who has not been involved in wrongdoing. So many questions need to be answered about their program and their future.
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Will the coach be there by the start of the season? How many players will become ineligible? Is playing in the NCAA tournament now out of the question?
I can also imagine that this is also distracting for schools like UCLA, but not with the same concerns. Despite what happens with other programs, the Bruins have to focus on themselves. Not only do the Bruins have to figure out how to replace five players from last season, but also trying to figure out their defense and try to find a way to get farther into the NCAA tournament.
UCLA has not been named in the investigation and hopefully it remains that way. With that being said, it is business as usual and UCLA needs to stay focused on themselves.
UCLA may not be connected to this these charges of corruption but it still affects them. As I wrote a couple days ago, UCLA can benefit from all this. If USC and Arizona get sanctioned (possible post-season ban and scholarship reductions), not only will that give UCLA a leg up in the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments, but recruits will now see those two schools less favorably and could wander Westwood’s way. As it stands, USC and Arizona are two of the top five teams in the 2018 recruiting class rankings. That could very well change.
So with the possibility of UCLA reaping the benefits, they still need to keep a level head and get their team running on all cylinders. USC and Arizona might not be a problem for the Bruins if they are sanctioned, but that does not mean that the rest of the country will take it easy on UCLA.