Hoops Evaluation Period Preview

Here's a look at the 2015 prospects that UCLA will pursue during the July evaluation periods...

With the July evaluation periods starting yesterday, UCLA's coaches will be all over the country watching prospects. As has been increasingly the case over the last couple of years, most of the best events are not local. This week, UCLA coaches will spend a significant amount of time at LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas, the adidas Unrivaled event in Chicago, and, potentially, the Reebok Breakout Camp in Philadelphia. In addition, there are several local events with enough prospects that one UCLA coach, likely Ed Schilling, will be delegated to attend.

UCLA has one commitment in the 2015 class already in Aaron Holiday, the point guard from North Hollywood (Calif.) Campbell Hall. In addition to Holiday, UCLA has room for, at the very least, three more scholarship players. With Norman Powell graduating after this year, and questionable depth in the backcourt for 2015 and beyond, securing guards and wings this cycle will be very important.


Point Guards

Aaron Holiday, , North Hollywood (Calif.) Campbell Hall, COMMITTED

With Holiday committed, and no other legitimate point guard prospects on the horizon, we'd have to imagine that the Bruins will stand pat. Holiday, as we've said, is still more of a combo guard than a true point guard, but he's shown signs this spring and summer of being more of a facilitator. July and his final high school season will be key in his development. UCLA will obviously monitor him during the July periods.

Shooting Guards

Malik Newman, , Jackson (Miss.) Callaway, OFFERED
Eric Davis, , Saginaw (Mich.) Arthur Hill, OFFERED
Prince Ali, , Weston (Fla.) Sagemont, OFFERED
Malik Beasley, , Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis, OFFERED
Rex Pflueger, , Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei

UCLA has gone national with shooting guard recruiting, and as of now, it looks like the Bruins' most promising recruitment is that of Prince Ali. Ali has a top four of Michigan, UCLA, Indiana, and Connecticut, but some sources believe that UCLA is the leader at this time. Ali has a connection to UCLA, having played on the same high school team as incoming freshman Gyorgy Goloman.

The Bruins also have a shot with Davis. He has indicated that he wants to officially visit UCLA and UNLV. We're a little skeptical that UCLA will be able to pull him from Michigan State, where many expect he's leaning, but the Bruins are trying.

Newman isn't even listing UCLA, but we've included him on the list because he and Diamond Stone have indicated that they're a package deal. Though we're often skeptical that package deals will come to fruition, both players seem set on it. Stone is one of UCLA's top targets among the bigs, so to secure him, they'll likely also spend a good deal of time recruiting Newman.

Beasley was recently offered, and UCLA will monitor him, but we've heard it could be difficult to pry him from local schools.

Pflueger is one West Coast option that we could see UCLA pivoting to if certain national prospects fall through. He's improved over the last year, developing a more consistent jumper while demonstrating a better overall feel for the game. If he has a good summer in front of the UCLA staff, we could see the Bruins picking up their recruitment of him.

Small Forwards

Jaylen Brown, , Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler, OFFERED
Ray Smith, , Las Vegas (Nev.), OFFERED
D.J. Hogg, , Plano (Tex.) West, OFFERED
Cameron Walker, , Santa Maria (Calif.) Righetti

UCLA is recruiting Brown hard, and the Bruins have secured an official visit for the fall. Brown will also visit UCLA after adidas Nations in August for an unofficial. Right now, sources close to the recruitment think the Bruins have a real shot, and are likely in his top three, at the very least. He'll be one of UCLA's top priorities this summer.

The Bruins are also in the mix for Smith, but we've heard that Arizona could be leading by a wide margin. He was also recently offered by defending national champion Connecticut, which could further cloud UCLA's chances.

Hogg is a shooter, and he has interest from across the country. UCLA checked him out during the spring evaluation period, and they'll likely spend some time watching him this summer as well.

Though the Bruins made the top ten for Walker, we're not sure how hard UCLA is recruiting him. If UCLA does miss on Brown and Smith, though, we could see Walker's recruitment pick up.

Power Forwards
Ivan Rabb, , Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd, OFFERED
Carlton Bragg, , Cleveland (Ohio) Villa Angela - St. Joseph, OFFERED
Steven Enoch, , Norwalk (Conn.)

The jewel is obviously Ivan Rabb, but the Bruins are likely trailing Arizona, among others. Still, if UCLA can stay in the top five mix and potentially earn an official visit, that would go a long way.

With Bragg, UCLA has been recruiting him hard since the spring of 2013. Again, he's an elite prospect with offers and interest from across the country, and out of state, so he'll be a difficult one to land.

UCLA is monitoring Enoch, and could offer if he shows well during the evaluation period. He could be tough to pull from Connecticut if UCLA does end up offering.

Centers

Diamond Stone, , Milwaukee (Wisc.) Dominican, OFFERED
Henry Ellenson, , Rice Lake (Wisc.), OFFERED
Stephen Zimmerman, , Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, OFFERED
Chase Jeter, , Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, OFFERED
Caleb Swanigan, , Fort Wayne (Ind.) Homestead, OFFERED
Chance Comanche, , Los Angeles (Calif.) View Park, OFFERED

We have heard that UCLA has a legitimate chance with Stone, despite the rumors that he and Newman are a package deal. UCLA, from what we've heard, made some inroads with Stone even prior to Steve Alford's hiring. If the Bruins can land an official visit this fall, that would be a coup, and be a sign of legitimate interest.

Ellenson has blown up this year, going from a lightly-recruited prospect to one of the most heavily-recruited in the country. He was recently offered by Duke, North Carolina, and UCLA, to go along with a variety of Big 10 programs. UCLA will monitor him all summer.

Jeter is Duke's to lose, but Zimmerman's recruitment is still open, and we've heard a variety of conflicting bits of information regarding which way he's leaning, with UNLV and Kansas both being mentioned at various points, and recent bits of info indicating he's wide open. UCLA is still clearly in the mix, and we'd imagine the Bruins will be right there for him up to his decision date.

Swanigan, from what we've heard, will be very tough to pull West, with in-state Indiana after him and a variety of big-time programs in the East.

With Comanche, UCLA recently offered, but Arizona, USC, and North Carolina State have jumped ahead in this recruitment. It'd probably take a significant effort on UCLA's part to break into the top group for Comanche, and we're not sure how much of a priority he'll be with other centers higher on the board.

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