One of the most stories programs in college basketball history, UCLA has won a record 11 NCAA Division-1 national championships. Under current coach Ben Howland, the Bruins went to three straight Final Fours from 2006-2008, failing each time to capture a 12th crown. Recent history has not been as kind. UCLA hasn't made it past the second round of the Big Dance since those consecutive Final Fours and was just 19-14 a season ago. But oh how the Bruins have reloaded. Evan Daniels breaks down their monster class.
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UCLA last year: 19-14 overall, 11-7 in Pac-12, no tournament appearance
Scout.com class rank: 2
Best player of the class: Shabazz Muhammad. While Nerlens Noel finished No. 1 in the 2012 rankings, Muhammad certainly made a strong case for the spot. Over the course of his high school career he accomplished a lot, including a state championship as a senior. His scoring arsenal from the perimeter is impressive and his work ethic is second to none.
|Click on the photos to learn more about UCLA's Class of 2012 commits.|
The one that got away: You could point to a few big names from the west coast that UCLA wasn't able to secure. Perhaps Dominic Artis, who at one time was committed to UCLA, was their biggest miss because of their need for a point guard. Grant Jerrett, of La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran, also slipped away. The Bruins had some strong connections with his family, but Arizona lured him to Tucson before UCLA could close the deal.
What to expect from them next year: Muhammad and Anderson should impact the Bruins line-up from the get go. In fact, they should be primary pieces for a UCLA team that is being picked to have a strong year. Muhammad and Anderson work well together and the two potentially could help UCLA make a Final Four run.
Will live up to the hype because ...: They'll live up to the hype because they have two of the top five prospects in the nation headed their way, plus a dynamite big man in Tony Parker and a legit shooter in Jordan Adams. This is a well-balanced group with a lot of raw talent.
Won't live up to the hype because ...: UCLA had a serious need for a point guard in the 2012 class and they weren't able to get one. Sure, Anderson can spend some time on the ball, but he's not a full-time point guard. They needed Artis in this class, or at the least a guy like Tyrone Wallace, but they weren't able to get either.
TOP FIVE CLASSES
Evan Daniels breaks down his top five recruiting classes of 2012.
In their words: "I just think it's a challenge, knowing how bad they were these last two years and it's a challenge to really get them back up to the top knowing they're the leaders in championships with 11." -- Shabazz Muhammad (Source: LA Times)
"The biggest thing that stood out is the tradition of UCLA and its track record for putting guards in the NBA." -- Kyle Anderson
"I just wanted to go to a place with a winning tradition." -- Tony Parker (Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"I chose UCLA because of their tradition and history. I think it's a good fit for me." -- Jordan Adams