The UCLA basketball team currently has the 27th best-recruiting class in the country, but will that change now that Steve Alford is gone?
One of the things that former UCLA basketball head coach Steve Alford actually did right in the last few years was pull in solid recruiting classes.
Back in November, the Bruins signed the three committed players from their 2019 class. But this was before UCLA started their downward spiral under Alford. With the coach that recruited them gone, all three have the option to ask for a release from their national letter of intent… but will they?
UCLA Basketball’s 2019 Signees
- Jaime Jaquez, SF (Adolfo Camarillo/Camarillo, CA) ★★★★ 6’7, 210
- Grant Sherfield, G (Sunshine Christian/Witchita, KS) ★★★ 6’2, 180
- Jake Kyman, SF (Santa Margarita Catholic/Santa Margarita, CA) ★★★ 6’6, 180
According to Ben Bolch and Eric Sondheimer of the L.A. Times, Jaime Jaquez and Jake Kyman were “disappointed” and “bummed”, respectively, but both still seem determined to join the Bruins next season.
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Grant Sherfield is the only one that is uncertain of his plans at this time. According to the report, Sherfield’s father, Antoine Sherfield, said the family will make a decision “in the near future”.
This season, UCLA has 13 players on the roster (no seniors), which puts them at their scholarship limit. That means that three players must depart in order to make room for the new signees. If Sherfield does not join the team, then it is not a dire situation (though two players will still have to leave).
Next season, UCLA will also be able to utilize the talents of PG Tyger Campbell and PF Shareef O’Neal, both of whom were sidelined due to injury/health issues, so depth is not a concern at this moment.
The termination of Alford is still fresh, so there is plenty of time to make decisions regarding the future of several players. In the meantime, the Athletic Department will start the process of looking into potential candidates to replace Alford. Once that happens, things should start to fall in to place.
UCLA plays their first game without Alford on Thursday as they begin Pac-12 play against Stanford.