UCLA basketball building a championship type of team through the transfer portal

Other teams have given the Bruins the blueprint in this "new age" of college basketball as the transfer portal and the way the NCAA regulates it allows teams to challenge for championships quicker than usual.
UCLA v Arizona
UCLA v Arizona / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

UCLA not only has picked up five players via the transfer portal but they also have a top-three-ranked transfer portal class with all but one of those players coming from a Power Five conference school.

Let's first look at the first four incoming players who will be playing for UCLA for the 2024-25 season who are arriving in Westwood via the transfer portal.

Kobe Johnson. Kobe Johnson. In. 519. player. fdsfsdfsdfs. No. 13 On3. No. 6 247 Sports. Senior for 2024-25. Guard/Small Forward

Forward. Eric Dailey. Sophomore for 2024-25. In. 465. No. 45 247 Sports. Eric Dailey. player. fdfsdfsdfsfd. No. 54 On3

player. No. 50 CBS Sports. No. 72 247 Sports. Skyy Clark. 438. jdflksdj;flksdjflksd. Guard. In. Junior for 2024/25. Skyy Clark

No. 59 247 Sports. No. 62 ESPN. Junior for 2024/25. Tyler Bilodeau. In. 516. Forward. Tyler Bilodeau. fdssfsdfs. player

Now let's explain how these four players help UCLA be considered a possible championship contender for the 2024-25 season.

  • Immediate impact: Unlike true freshmen who might need time to adjust to the college game, experienced transfers can contribute right away. This past season UCLA had seven scholarship true freshmen on their roster and their inexperience was too much to overcome and contributed to the Bruins only winning 16 games. Getting four players from the transfer portal this off-season was important, with the key departure of Adem Bona due to leaving for the NBA Draft and the need to add experience to their roster for next season.
  • Targeted recruitment: Mick Cronin specifically targeted players who fill his team's weaknesses. Did he need a scorer? Yes, he got one in the transfer portal. Did he need a player who can consistently shoot well from beyond the arc? Yes, he got on in the transfer portal. Did he need a lockdown defender? Yes, he found one in the transfer portal. Did he need big men? Yes, he got two forwards to transfer to UCLA.

He found and got experienced players to transfer to Westwood.

  • College-ready: Transfers already have a year or more of college experience under their belt. They understand the demands of college athletics, including balancing academics and basketball. Getting four transfers as Cronin did in comparison to signing another big incoming freshman class like last year, will help the Bruins be successful this upcoming season.
  • Proven talent: Cronin and UCLA had a clearer picture of a transfer's skillset compared to a high school recruit and chose to bring in these talented and experienced transfers. The Bruins coaching staff seen them play against college competition and know what they're getting.

Roster flexibility and quicker rebuilds are also key factors in why UCLA attacked the transfer portal so aggressively this off-season.

  • Shorter commitment: The transfers brought in have one, two, and possibly three years of eligibility remaining. This allows the UCLA coaches to manage scholarships strategically and potentially open spots for future high school recruits due to the transfers not having the full four years of eligibility remaining.
  • Faster turnaround: A strong transfer class, which UCLA has can help the Bruins become competitive much sooner than relying solely on true freshmen development. This is particularly beneficial for UCLA a team that did not make the NCAA Tournament last season.

UCLA adds a fifth transfer via the transfer portal.

fsfsdfsdfsd. No. 136 247 Sports. Forward. Junior for 2024/25. 2496. William Kyle III. No. 55 On3. William Kyle III. In. player

Overall, the transfer portal offers college basketball coaches a powerful tool to improve their teams quickly and strategically. Cronin went all in this off-season by addressing specific needs and leveraging experienced talent. The portal can be a game-changer for schools like UCLA looking to make a big jump in the next season after a disappointing one this past season.

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