2014 Los Angeles (Calif.) Pacific Hills shooting guard Namon Wright earned an offer from the UCLA coaching staff just weeks before head coach Ben Howland was fired. Friday marked the first time Wright met with Steve Alford, and he came away with a positive impression of the new head coach as well as a fully committable offer.
"(The meeting) went well, it went well," Wright said. "He's a good man and has a good vibe. He looks like a very good fit for UCLA. He was making sure that I knew that if I wanted to commit right now, or whenever, that they're ready for me. I think they're trying to push for the 2014 class right now (rather than 2013) because they know that's where most of the uncommitted talent is."
Wright also came away with a tentatively scheduled official visit for May. He said that as soon as the coaching staff can have him on campus in May, they want him to come on an official.
He also said that he was familiar with Alford before he came to UCLA, but that he hadn't talked much to him, so it was good that Alford came by Wright's campus to introduce himself.
"I actually only talked to him a couple of times (when he was at New Mexico)," Wright said. "The assistants there were actually the ones who were much more on me. They were definitely recruiting me, though, I'd say."
Wright has been on record as saying that he'd like to stay local for college, and that warm weather is an important factor for him. His comments today reinforced that impression.
"I don't have a top 5 or anything," Wright said. "It's no top anything. Of course, UCLA, if there was a top 3 or a top 5, they're in it. People are always joking about me, because I'm always mentioning the weather in these interviews, but it's a big deal, so I'd like to stay local."
Other options for Wright include Arizona and USC, both of which are recruiting him heavily. He said that he'd meet with the Arizona coaches tomorrow, and that he also wants to meet with the USC coaches soon.
"I want to meet with all the coaches," Wright said. "I just want to make sure everything is right and I want to meet with as many coaches as possible. I want to take official visits to make sure I'll be in the right place for the next few years."
Wright said he definitely got the impression that he was one of UCLA's priorities in the 2014 class, and when asked what he'd like to see out of UCLA for him to make a commitment to the school, he had a very interesting riff on UCLA recruiting.
"Well, to me, how I see it, with all the players in California, there's a lot of talent in California," Wright said. "And it's easy for (UCLA) to recruit, and it's the best way for (UCLA) to recruit, to have California kids that go to a California school to play ball. To represent UCLA, you should have more kids that are from the area, and kids from my class are really talented, like the Stanley Johnsons and the Jordan McLaughlins, and it'd be really cool to have them as my teammates for the next couple of years."
Wright said that he doesn't know 2014 Etiwanda point guard Jordan McLaughlin that well, or 2014 Long Beach Poly small forward Kameron Chatman that well, but said that both would be players he'd want to play with in college, along with Stanley Johnson and Malik Pope, among others.
Wright also will play on Dream Vision this summer with uncommitted 2015 center Stephen Zimmerman, who's acknowledged to be one of the best prospects in the country in 2015 and is probably one of UCLA's biggest priority recruits in the next two years. Wright is excited to play alongside him.
"We've had a couple of practices," Wright said. "He's a really cool kid. He's young, and talented, and he wants to get better. That's the main thing, and having that guy as a teammate is going to help us really elevate our game. He's an unselfish talent."
Wright Meets with Alford
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