2015 Hoops Recruiting Update

UCLA has one commitment and is looking for three more, and leads for one of the elite prospects in the nation...

UCLA basketball recruiting is heading into the Fall phase of the recruiting cycle, when recruits start taking their official visits, hosting in-home visits, narrowing lists and actually verbally committing – all leading up to the November Signing Period.

UCLA has four scholarships to give to the 2015 class, and with the current roster a bit frontcourt-heavy and thin in the backcourt, UCLA will need to bring in guards and wings. The ideal use of the four scholarships would be three perimeter players and one post.

As of right now UCLA has a commitment from Aaron Holiday, the 6-0 guard from North Hollywood (Calif.) Cambell Hall. So, it’s looking for probably two more perimeter players and one post.

The buzz from July has been that UCLA leads for the #1 overall player in the country (as of today's updated Scout.com rankings), Jaylen Brown, the 6-6 prospect from Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler. Brown was in Los Angeles for the recent Adidas Nations event, and then took an unofficial visit to UCLA afterward. Scout.com's Evan Daniels recently talked to Brown's trainer, Desmond Eastman. About the UCLA visit, he said, "It was good," he said. "They showed him the history. They spoke about the ability for him to come in and impact their team and then they talked about the market and LA being the second largest market to New York City. They touched on a lot of points and the impact of who you would be playing in front of." "He’s going to go back on an official," he added about UCLA.

In fact, we’ve heard the visit went really well, and that Brown made some strong indications to the UCLA staff.

We know that hometown Georgia is going to be a player in this, and that Kansas and Kentucky won’t go away without a fight.

Brown has set up a visit to Kansas for October 10th. He's going to visit Kentucky, as well as Georgia and Georgia Tech prior to his high school season starting.

As we’ve reported, with UCLA leading for Brown, it’s a matter of the Bruins holding onto the pole position when the likes of Kentucky, Kansas and hometown Georgia really hit him hard heading down the homestretch.

Malik Beasley
We’re now hearing probably the perimeter player that looks the best for UCLA besides Brown is Malik Beasley, the 6-3 shooting guard from Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis, the nation’s #59-ranked prospect. Beasley is close with Brown and they’re not necessarily a package deal, but getting one of them would help getting the other. Beasley has said he has a final eight of Connecticut, Florida State, Georgia, Oregon, St. John's, Virginia Commonwealth, Wake Forest and UCLA. From what we’ve heard, you can probably expect Beasley to take an official visit to UCLA on the same weekend as Brown.

The next likely are the other wings that have official visits set up for UCLA – Prince Ali, the 6-3 shooting guard from Weston (Fla.) Sagemont Upper School, the nation’s #47-ranked prospect; and Eric Davis, the 6-3 shooting guard from Saginaw (Mich.) Arthur Hill, ranked #32 in the nation overall.

While UCLA had been doing well with Ali throughout July, we’re now hearing he’s probably a little bit more open than he was previously. He’ll visit UCLA August 31st, and also has a visit arranged to Louisville September 6th.

Davis will be the first UCLA official visitor, coming in on August 23rd, then he’ll also officially visit Texas (8/29), Kentucky, Michigan and Michigan State. UNLV and North Carolina State are also trying for an official visit. The most recent line of thinking on Davis was that he was leaning to Michigan State.

UCLA also has an official visit set with D.J. Hogg, the nation’s #27-ranked prospect, who is a 6-7 wing from Plano (Tex.) Plano West Senior. He’ll visit UCLA October 11th, but also has official visits arranged to Baylor (8/31) and Arizona (10/18). We’re hearing Baylor is probably the leader and they’ll make a big effort to end his recruitment during his official visit to Waco.

From what we hear there is also a good possibility that Brandon Sampson, the 6-4 shooting guard from Baton Rouge (La.) Madison Prep, the nation’s #56 prospect, will take an official visit to UCLA sometime this fall. The word is that LSU is going to be tough to beat, but UCLA could have a good chance to do it.

UCLA has an outside chance of getting an official visit from Brandon Ingram, the 6-8 small forward from Kinston (North Carolina), the nation’s #26 prospect. Ingram took an unofficial visit to UCLA after Adidas Nations, coming to campus at 6:30 a.m. before his flight left that morning. UCLA is considered a long shot, with Duke the heavy favorite. He has visited Duke officially and is also being recruited by Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, and North Carolina State, among others. He will trim his list to a top-seven by the end of August.

Among the post prospects left on the 2015 recruiting board, if we had to handicap it, we could see UCLA ending up with Jean Marc Christ Koumadje, the 7-3 center from Lake County (Fla.) Montverde Academy. He has programs like Connecticut and Georgia Tech on him, but we’ve heard UCLA might have the best chance with him if they definitely want him. He was going to transfer to Sun Valley (Calif.) Village Christian, but he’ll now stay at Montverde, which could hurt UCLA’s chances. You can probably expect UCLA to host him on an official visit.

Stephen Zimmerman
UCLA will get an official visit from Stephen Zimmerman, the 6-11 prospect from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman October 24th. Zimmerman also has official visits scheduled to North Carolina (10/4), Kansas (10/11), Kentucky (10/11), and Arizona (11/7), while local UNLV is also a serious contender. He also has an in-home visit schedule of: UNLV (9/9), Arizona (9/10), North Carolina (9/11), Kentucky (9/13 or 14), Kansas (9/15) and UCLA (9/16).

Many close to the situation have waffled on who actually leads for Zimmerman at any time, with Kansas and UNLV seeming to be most mentioned as the leaders.

Other bigs that UCLA could get visits from:

-- Carlton Bragg, the 6-9 power forward from Cleveland (Ohio) Villa Angela – St. Joseph, nation’s #11 prospect. He will cut his list to five on September 1, with official visits scheduled to Kansas (October 10) and Kentucky (October 17), and planned for Illinois (to be determined). Arizona, Indiana, Ohio State, UCLA, and West Virginia will be among those vying for his last two official visits. UCLA Is considered a longshot.

-- Chance Comanche, the 6-11 center from Los Angeles (Calif.) View Park, ranked #21 in the nation. He just recently announced his official visits. He has already officially visited Connecticut, and and will take his remaining trips to Arizona State (Aug. 28), Arizona (Sept. 13), North Carolina State (Sept. 27) and UCLA (Oct. 3). The word is that Arizona is the strong leader at this time.

-- Caleb Swanigan, the 6-9 center from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Homestead Senior, the nation’s #12 prospect. UCLA has an outside chance to get an official visit. He’ll narrow his list of schools to those getting visits by the end of August.


For more on potential official visits and prospects, go to:

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