The UCLA basketball women’s team received some big news on Thursday night as senior point guard Japreece Dean has received an extra year of eligibility which could set the team up for a big 2019-20 season.
This is big news for the UCLA basketball women’s team. Senior Japreece Dean was granted an extra year of eligibility and will help the Bruins remain competitive into the 2019-20 season. If anything, it could help them to become national contenders.
Dean had begun her collegiate career at Texas Tech back in 2015-16. Though she was logging good minutes, she was slowly growing dissatisfied with the direction of the program. After playing in only two games in her sophomore season, she opted to transfer to UCLA. She was able to play with the Bruins during the 2017-18 season, but she would do so as a junior.
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This year, Dean entered the season as a senior and it would seemingly be her last, but after appealing to the NCAA after missing out on her sophomore season, Dean was granted that extra year of eligibility. Again, this is big.
The Bruins were going to lose four seniors after this season, including Dean. The loss of the point guard as well as G Kennedy Burke, G Chrissy Baird, and F Lajahna Drummer was going to leave a hole in the roster. Even though the Bruins were reloading with the 10th ranked recruiting class in 2019 (according to ESPN), which includes 5-star PG Jaden Owens, 5-star PG Charisma Osborne, 4-star F Brynn Masikewich, and 4-star G Camryn Brown, UCLA would be missing several key upperclassmen.
With Dean returning, the Bruins now have even more consistency to go along with their talent, which they have a lot of.
Michaela Onyenwere has been UCLA’s best player this season and looks to have an All-American junior season next year. The Bruins also get to utilize sharpshooting Baylor transfer Natalie Chou (who had to sit out this season). UCLA also has soon-to-be juniors Chantel Horvat, Lauryn Miller, and Ally Rosenblum bringing back some muscle.
On top of that, the Bruins have this year’s talented freshmen Kayla Owens, Ahlana Smith, Kiara Jefferson, Shayley Harris, Eliana Sigal, and Lindsay Corsaro (who made the All-Pac-12 Freshman team this season).
And if that was not enough, with Dean returning, the Bruins will have four point guards on the team which includes Ahlana Smith, Jaden Owens, and Charisma Osborne, meaning the Bruins will have plenty of ball handlers next season.
With all of that in mind, the Bruins are setting themselves up for a massive 2019-20 season, one that could see them competing, not just for a Pac-12 title, but possibly a national title.