Cori Close has been impressive on the recruiting trail in recent seasons, but how should she distribute scholarships for her UCLA basketball squad going forward?
In 2013, UCLA basketball head coach Cori Close brought in the nation’s top recruiting class. Since then, she has continued to bring in top national and international recruits which have helped her to build her empire.
This fall, we get to see her next big recruiting class which is loaded with four more talented players. Jaden Owens, Charisma Osborne, Brynn Masikewich, and Camryn Brown add to the roster which already has a ton of depth. But looking forward, Close has to start to think about what type of player she wants to bring in for the next few recruiting cycles.
The Current UCLA Basketball Scholarship Distribution
- Point Guard: Japreece Dean (R-Sr), Ahlana Smith (So), Jaden Owens (Fr), Charisma Osborne (Fr)
- Guard: Lindsay Corsaro (R-So), Kiara Jefferson (So), Camryn Brown (Fr)
- Guard: Natalie Chou (R-Jr), Chantel Horvat (Jr), Kayla Owens (R-So)
- Forward: Michaela Onyenwere (Jr), Lauryn Miller (Jr)
- Forward: Ally Rosenblum (Sr), Shayley Harris (So), Brynn Masikewich (Fr)
Scholarships By Position
PG: 4 | SG: 3 | SF: 3 | PF: 2 | F/C: 3
Scholarships By Year
Freshmen: 4 | Sophomores: 5 | Juniors: 4 | Seniors: 2
Unlike men’s basketball, the women get to distribute 15 scholarships rather than 13. Close has taken full advantage of this as she has those 15 all locked up. After the season, she will be losing at least two players as seniors PG Japreece Dean and F Ally Rosenblum will be moving on, but Close does not have to necessarily recruit the positions these two Bruins will vacate.
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UCLA is beyond deep at the point guard spot. Along with Ahlana Smith, the Bruins will have newbies Jaden Owens and Charisma Osborne joining the roster, so the Bruins are okay at the point for at least two more years, though that should not stop Close from looking for another in 2020.
Still, UCLA has an abundance of talent at the three guard positions, but it would help them if they go after a top-tier shooter. The Bruins were not a consistent threat from behind the line, though they did have their moments. Last season, the Bruins shot .306 from the three-point line, 199th (out of 349 teams) in the nation. If Close can bring in a snipper, this will spread out the Bruins’ offense.
Getting another guard is a priority, but the frontcourt needs the most help. Rosenblum will be leaving and there is a possibility that Michaela Onyenwere enters the WNBA Draft after next season. Hopefully not, but it is something Close has to prepare for. Either way, Close has to bring in another low post player.
Part of UCLA’s strength has been rebounding. This past season, the Bruins grabbed 41.6 rebounds per game (29th in the nation) and had a rebounding margin of 5.9 (37th). This dominance on the boards has been key to UCLA’s success, so targeting a recruit that knows her way around the rim seems imperative.
Close has done an exceptional job of building this roster, which does give her some breathing room, but she has to keep it up. Looking at how she has handled the last several recruiting classes, this does not seem to be a problem.