Jaylen Hands

Breaking down UCLA's 2017 Recruiting Class on Signing Day

Here is a look at what went right, what went wrong, and what is still left to do for Steve Alford and his staff as we head into the fall signing period.

What went right?

Even though UCLA enters Signing Day with Scout's 4th ranked class, a commitment from Top 20 small forward Kris Wilkes next week, as expected, could move the Bruins to number one. So, potentially, a lot has and will go right.

For now, the Bruins' class starts with Top 30 San Diego area point guard Jaylen Hands, who has the speed, handle, vision, shooting ability and athleticism to be a really good point guard for UCLA. Hands has made strides throughout his high school career and as good as he is now, has plenty of room to keep getting stronger and improving his skill set.

UCLA led for local Top 30 power forward Cody Riley from the beginning and ultimately landed his commitment. Riley is a guy who is of the old school power forward mold. He's a tough, physical player who can make plays inside, while he has the ability to hit jumpers and use his vision to find cutters from the midrange area. Riley will help the Bruins on the glass on both sides of the ball.

Steve Alford and staff landed an early commitment from Top 100 center Jalen Hill, another local product. Where Hill will be most effective for the Bruins is on the defensive end and on the glass. He will be able to defend many fours and fives, while he should be a plus rebounder. Hill is a year young for the class and still raw offensively but has made strides there over the last year.

The fourth current piece to UCLA's class is yet another local player in LiAngelo Ball. A bulky forward who is probably somewhere between the three and the four should be a three-point shooting specialist for the Bruins. He can be a streaky shooter but there's no doubt he brings value as a shooter, while he may be able to help on the glass as well.


What went wrong?

The Bruins have spent time with players such as P.J. Washington (undecided), Branden Carlson (Utah) and Troy Brown (Oregon), amongst others, but any time you have a Top Five and potentially number one class, you didn't do very much wrong.


What is left to do?

Five-star small forward Kris Wilkes announces on Nov. 13 and the Bruins have reason to feel confident heading into that decision, one that could catapult the class to number one nationally. Even with Wilkes, the UCLA staff would take one more player in 2017 and will hold that scholarship until the spring if necessary.

Technically UCLA is still involved with a lot of players who could still end up Bruins. Prospects such as Brandon McCoyGary Trent and Chuck O'Bannon Jr. remain on the board and while UCLA may not necessarily lead for any of them at this point, they're still in the mix.

Between the four aforementioned prospects, transfers, players who emerge late and guys who become available due to coaching changes, there are plenty of ways for UCLA to add to its 2017 class before next season.



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