Back from Injury
Shareef O’Neal (PF), 6’9, 215
Tyger Campbell (PG), R-Fr, 5’11, 185
Before the 2018-19 season, UCLA had lost three players, two to season-ending injuries. Both of these two were freshmen that were expected to take on heavy minutes in their first year.
Campbell should be good to go after recovering from an ACL injury. He was expected to backup Jaylen Hands at the point guard spot and might do the same thing next season if Hands decides to stay for his junior season. But if Hands leaves, Campbell has the talent to step in and run the offense. The only thing UCLA needs to figure out is who will back him up, but that will be worked out later.
Campbell adds explosiveness to the roster as he not only has quick feet, he has quick hands and quick reaction. His vision of the floor will help the offense to get up and down the court or play a slower tempo, whichever is the ideal style for the new coach.
The player everyone seems to be waiting for is O’Neal, not just because he is the son of Shaq, but because of the ordeal he went through. It is not every day you find out you have a heart issue that will require surgery, but that was the case for Shareef.
Last December, O’Neal had open heart surgery to repair an undisclosed condition and since then, especially on social media, he has been counting down the days until he can get back on the court and start prepping for his first year of basketball in Westwood. As of now, he seems to be starting his re-conditioning.
So what will he bring to the team? A lot of dominating interior play. Think of him as a bigger David Singleton that can work under the paint. O’Neal will not only bring down rebounds, but he has a pretty sweet turnaround jumper he can rely on.