2014 Hoops Recruiting Update

With the basketball Early Signing Period starting just two weeks from today, here's a look at the prospects remaining on UCLA's 2014 board at this time. One big target will announce his decision tomorrow...

UCLA probably has five scholarships to give to the 2014 class. That would be betting on sophomore Kyle Anderson going pro after this season, since his father has clearly indicated that is their intention, and Jordan Adams returning for his junior year.

One of the five scholarships was just earmarked for Gyorgy Goloman, the 6-9 power forward from Hungary via Weston (Fla.) Sagemont, who verbally committed to UCLA after his official visit last weekend.

As of now, here are the remaining possibilities:

Thomas Welsh, 6-11 C, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. Welsh's commitment has been a bit of a up-and-down and all-around affair. He early on favored Cal, but then UCLA got seriously involved and it looked like the Bruins were surging ahead. He took an official visit to Cal, but didn't appeare to be too thrilled, and then took an official visit to UCLA and it looked like a go. He took an official visit to Colorado, but the Buffs didn't appear to be a threat. He unofficially visited UCLA a couple of times in the last couple of weeks, UCLA coaches have been out to see him at his school, and the word around Loyola was that he was favoring UCLA. But the verbal commitment hasn't come in the last couple of weeks. Now, the recent news is that Welsh has submitted an application to Stanford and will officially visit the Farm on November 7th, less than a week before signing day. Remember, his AAU teammate, point guard Robert Cartwright, is a commitment to Stanford, and that could have a little influence. The Stanford development clearly isn't a good one for UCLA.

Jonah Bolden, 6-8 PF, Henderson (Nev.) FIndlay Prep. Here's a recent recruiting update with Bolden. The talented Australian burst on the scene at adidas nations in August and then high-majors jumped on him. He said he's narrowed his list to UCLA, Michigan, Louisville, UNLV, Arizona, LSU, Oregon State, Auburn and Vanderbilt, and he hasn't decided which schools he'll visit officially. He did say that UCLA was among the programs recruiting him the hardest, and UCLA assistant David Grace recently traveled to Australia to have an in-home visit with Bolden's parents. It was previously thought that Michigan was the leader, and most people close to the situation still believe it, even though Bolden didn't mention the Wolverines as among the three programs recruiting him the hardest. Bolden will almost certainly wait until spring to decide and more programs could get involved by then. In fact, Kentucky has started to get involved.

Kevon Looney, 6-8 PF, Milwaukee (Wisc.) Hamilton. Looney is #14-ranked prospect in the nation and an impact type of player. The big news is that he'll announce his choice on Thursday, Halloween, at an 11:00 a.m. CST, at his high school. He also is very good at keeping his preferences for schools close to the vest. He visited UCLA officially with his last visit last week, and has also officially visited Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Tennessee, while hometown Wisconsin received a few unofficial visits. It was assumed Duke and Florida were leading the pack, but Tennessee has some connections and has been recruiting him the longest. There is a source that thinks UCLA has a chance, but, like we said, we are hearing very little about which way the talented forward is leaning.

Justise Winslow, 6-6 SF, Houston (Tex.) St. John's School. The #10 prospect in the 2014 class nationally, getting either Looney or Winslow would be a huge coup for Steve Alford's program, especially out-recruiting the likes of Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, and Florida for Winslow. Winslow has said he could possibly wait until spring to decide, but he has taken all five of his official visits (UCLA, Texas A&M, Arizona, Florida and Duke), and could still see Stanford unofficially. Winslow's brother lives in Los Angeles and the word is he loves it in California, and that could be an influence. At this point there is really no buzz about which way Winslow is leaning. He visited Duke with two fellow elite prospects, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones last weekend, and you'd have to think Duke will be hard to beat, while Arizona has always been considered a favorite.

Daniel Hamilton, 6-6 SF, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. The nation's #18-ranked prospect is verbally committed to Connecticut, but his older brother, Isaac Hamilton, is now a Bruin, enrolling this fall after de-committing from UTEP. The buzz was that young Hamilton would follow his older brother, but we haven't heard much about it in the last several weeks. There is one source that believes it could still happen, but others are saying that Connecticut really stepped up their recruitment of Hamilton once his older brother committed to UCLA.

Cameron Oliver, 6-7 PF, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant. An intriguing prospect, Oliver sat out most of his junior season with an ACL tear. Since coming back he's looked impressive and athletic in a couple of events, so programs have gotten interested. Oregon, Pepperdine and San Jose State have offered, while others, like Cal and UCLA, have shown interest. It could be a matter that Oliver becomes a priority once UCLA gets enough of a look at him and the big pool gets scarce.

Idrissa Diallo, 6-8 C, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral. Diallo had a UCLA offer back in spring, but the Bruins backed off some. Cal has really made Diallo a big priority, recently tripping him in on an official visit, and also bringing in his parents from Senegal, who Diallo hadn't seen in 2 1/2 years. We've heard Oregon could still have some interest. UCLA coach Steve Alford went by Cathedral to watch Diallo recently. It will be interesting to see if UCLA gets more serious about Diallo in the two weeks leading up to the start of the Early Signing Period. More than likely we feel that Diallo is going to commit to Cal.

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