Hoops Recruiting for 2014

Coming out of July, these are the prospects UCLA is targeting in the class of 2014, guys like Jordan McLaughlin, Stanley Johnson and Kameron Chatman...

Coming out of the July Evaluation Period we have a greater grasp of the 2014 and 2015 that UCLA is targeting and recruiting.

As we've written before, UCLA will probably have 4 or 5 scholarships to give to the 2014 class. Of course, it's dependent on how many they give out in 2013, who goes pro after this season, transfers, etc. If each scenario (going pro, not filling the 2013 class, etc.) goes against UCLA, it's even reasonable that the Bruin coaching staff could be looking at having upward of 7 available.

Without being able to nail down that number right now, suffice it to say that UCLA will be giving out a good number of scholarships to 2014 prospects.

That's a good thing in the west, since the 2014 class is truly loaded -- at least at point guard and wing. It, of course, is pretty thin at post. Unless a few more elite high major bigs emerge, UCLA will certainly be looking outside of the west for its 2014 post players.

But for the first time in a long time, we could safely say that UCLA wouldn't have to venture outside the Pacific Time Zone for its guards or wings.


Jordan McLaughlin, 5-11, Etiwanda (Calif.) High. In the second half of July, a UCLA coach just about every one of his games. He's an athletic freak -- not physically looking very intimidating, but what he can do with his quickness, balance and hops is truly extraordinary. UCLA has offered and has him at the top of their want list. UCLA has benefitted from McLaughlin playing on a lesser-known AAU team and playing off the ball for that team, so it has slowed national interest in him.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright, 5-8, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. Jackson-Cartwright is right there at the top of the list, too. He might be the best pure point guard in the country, in terms of feel for the game and passing. He's supposed to visit UCLA later in August.

There really is no dilemma on deciding which one between McLaughlin and Jackson-Cartwright UCLA shoulf take. It's the first one to commit.

At this point we're feeling that UCLA is doing a bit better with McLaughlin and, from what we hear, that could make things interesting since McLaughlin wants to wait a while before deciding and we're hearing that Jackson-Cartwright wants to get it over with quite a bit sooner.

Tyus Jones, 6-0, Apple Valley (Minn.) The #1 point guard in the nation, UCLA is recruiting him and Jones lists the Bruins, but it's a longshot. UCLA is putting the vast majority of its time and effort into McLaughlin and Jackson-Cartwright.

Josh Perkins, 6-3, Aurora (Col.) Regis Jesuit. Not many have seen Perkins, but he emerged this spring and summer as a legitimate third guy to be mentioned among the elite point guard prospects in the west for 2014. He's long and athletic, can handle, pass and shoot it.

Robert Cartwright, 6-1, La Canada (Calif.) Flintridge. It's truly amazing how deep the point guard class for 2014 is, especially when it's been so shallow for so many years. Cartwright is a true point with a great feel and a nice stroke.

Casey Benson, 6-2, Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol. Another nice prospect with a very good feel and skills. Benson, though, might not be in the same category as the top of the list here because of limited athleticism and a body that looks like it could continue to thicken out. But he's definitely someone to recognize will be recruited at the high-major level.

Kyron Cartwright, 5-9, Compton (Calif.) High. It's a triumvirate of Cartwrights in the west for 2014, and Kyron holds up his namesake. He has good quickness and is a very good decision-maker, and we expect him to be recruited heavily in the west.

Kevin Zabo, 6-2, Rockville (Maryland) Montrose. A scoring point guard and athlete, Zabo made a name for himself this spring and summer. UCLA has seen him play a lot in the Nike EYBL and has shown interest.


Justise Winslow, 6-6, Houston (Tex.) St. John's. The #10-ranked player in the nation, Winslow is a big, athletic and fairly skilled forward. This is a case where UCLA has legitimate chance, with a connection. Winslow also is an academic kid and will probably favor the schools with a more academic reputation. He visited UCLA unofficially this week while in L.A. for Adidas Nations. There is talk that he's a package with Okafor, with the two being friends (and visiting UCLA together), but of course, you always have to be skeptical of package deals.

Stanley Johnson, 6-5, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. A strong, big forward with skills, ranked the #40 player in the nation for 2014, Johnson is probably at the top of UCLA's wish list for forwards in this class.

Malik Pope, 6-6, Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian. A prospect with tremendous upside, Pope shows flashes of very advanced skills and athleticism, while looking very young. There could be a question here of whether Pope has the kind of mental make-up to be an elite high-major, but he's ranked #35 in the country right now based on his upside. UCLA recently offered, and this summer a flock of high-major coaches took in his games.

Kameron Chatman, 6-6, Long Beach Poly. Chatman moved down from Oregon, and is now in UCLA's backyard, and the Bruins have recruited him fairly aggressively. He's what you look for in a small forward prospect going into his junior year -- long, young-looking, athletic and skilled. The rumor is that Washington has done a very good job on him, but UCLA has a year and a half to recruit him, and now he's just 30 miles from UCLA's campus.

Daniel Hamilton, 6-6, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. Ranked #44 in the nation, he's probably the most athletic of the three Hamilton brothers, Daniel has some talent. Right now it's pretty raw in terms of his approach to the game, but if he continues to improve and refine, he has a chance to be an elite prospect. He recently said that he's going to the same school as his brother, Isaac, but we'll see if that holds up.

Namon Wright, 6-4, Los Angeles Pacific Hills. A truly elite prospect that combines it all -- size, athleticism and skills. He played on Dream Vision, the AAU program of Shabazz Muhammad, so UCLA is hoping that helps with their recruitment of him. The Bruin staff started recruiting him this spring and summer.

Shaqquan Aaron, 6-7, High School TBD. An immensely talented prospect, with guard skills in a 6-7, athletic body. Aaron, though, has hopped around high schools and AAU programs and needs to display some stability to college coaches if they're going to feel confident about investing in him.

Isaiah Bailey, 6-5, Compton (Calif.). An elite high-major prospect with very good athleticism and skill set. Hopefully with how deep the west is for wings in 2014 UCLA doesn't overlook him.

Chris Sandifer, 6-4, Gardena (Calif.) Serra. Another athletic and skilled player, Sandifer can really shoot it with a nice lefty stroke, and then has great length. UCLA did see him play a few times this summer.

Isaiah Whitehead, 6-4, Brooklyn (New York) Lincoln. A nationally recruited prospect who consistently shows interest in UCLA and, in fact, just visited campus, in town for Adidas Nations.

Iziahiah Sweeney, 6-2, Compton. Athletic two-guard who is probably a high-major.

Kelly Oubre, 6-6, Richmond (Tex.) George Bush. A lefty with a nice outside stroke, he plays on the same team as Victor. Oubre recently said that UCLA was his leader.

Justin Jackson, 6-6, Spring (Tex.) Homeschool Christian. The #15-ranked prospect in the country for 2014, Jackson can really shoot it and has developed a more well-rounded game. UCLA is on him, being on the same AAU team as Winslow.


Jahlil Okafor, 6-8, Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young. Okafor is the top post player in the nation for 2014 and every elite program is on him. He's a big kid, with good athleticism and skills. Pretty much a beast. UCLA is trying, and it doesn't hurt that he's close with Winslow, the two of them visiting UCLA unofficially on Wednesday before participating in Adidas Nations.

Noah Vonleh, 6-8, New Hampton (New Hampshire) New Hampton School. The #1 power forward in the nation (#6 prospect overall), he is a talented athlete that will have his pick of programs. UCLA is trying.

Craig Victor, 6-7, New Orleans (Louisiana) St. Augustine. A springy power forward that UCLA has followed extensively this summer, Victor is the #18-ranked player in the nation. There's a connection there to UCLA assistant Korey McCray, and he plays on the same AAU team as Oubre.

Chris McCullough, 6-9, Salisbury (Conn.) Salisbury School. A long athlete with some skills, he's ranked the #13 prospect in the nation. McCullough's sister will be attending UCLA law school next fall, according to him, so he has indicated that if UCLA recruited him they'd be at or near the top of his list.

Payton Dastrup, 6-9, Mesa (Ariz.) Mountain View. The #1 post in the west for 2014, Dastrup is a big kid with tremendous upside because of his athleticism and motor. He's Mormon, so it was thought early on that he was a lock to BYU, but the latest word is that he isn't. UCLA hasn't recruited Dastrup yet, which is surprising, since he's probably the only clear high major big in the west with decent academics.

Elston Jones, 6-9, Goodyear (Ariz.) Millenium. It's a bit freaky that California can't eke out a couple of post prospects in 2014, but the state of Arizona has a few of them. Jones is fairly skilled with a good feel, but just an okay athlete. Still, he'll more than likely get recruited at the elite high major level because of a lack of bigs in the west.

Zylan Cheatham, 6-7, Phoenix (Ariz.) South Mountain. Already offered by ASU, Cheatham is a good athlete with a good feel and developing skills.

Connor MacDougall, 6-8, Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista. MacDougall has improved considerably, and is showing signs of being a high major, with athleticism and skills.

Andre Adams, 6-8, Avondale (Ariz.) Westview, He might be right there with Dastrup as the best post prospect in the west for 2014, but we're hearing there will be academic issues.

Thomas Welsh, 6-10, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. Welsh has a good feel and some developing skills, but just isn't a high major athlete at this time. It's a shame, because he likes UCLA and has been on campus.

Idrissa Diallo, 6-9, Los Angeles Ribet. Originally from Senegal, Diallo has a nice body, with long arms. He has an offer from USC, and might have received more after the July Evaluation Period.

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