Aug. 7 -- When T.J. Leaf decommitted from Arizona, UCLA was considered a logical potential destination, only the question was where would the Bruins get the scholarship? In a conversation between UCLA and the Leaf camp since that decommitment, the Bruins gave their answer in Bryce Alford...
On Thursday, Arizona
lost a commitment from 6-foot-10, 205-pound El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian power forward T.J. Leaf
, who is Scout's 13th rated prospect in the 2016 class.
The first time around, Leaf chose Arizona over UCLA
after the Bruins were considered the heavy favorite to land the five-star prospect for several months prior to that commitment.
Given UCLA being once considered Leaf's likely destination, his proximity to the Bruins' campus and his shoe company ties playing on the adidas circuit, initial speculation on Thursday was that UCLA was a logical potential destination.
On Thursday night, following Leaf's decommitment, Scout talked with the five-star prospect's AAU coach with the Compton Magic, Etop Udo-Ema, who said that he had yet to speak with the Bruins staff.
"I'm sure they're interested but the question is do they have a scholarship?" Udo-Ema asked at the time. "I haven't talked to them yet. I'm sure they're going to be interested obviously."
As of now, UCLA has all 13 scholarships for the 2016-17 season accounted for, which is where the question came from.
According to sources, since that interview, UCLA and the Leaf camp have spoken and the Bruins have not only expressed their interest in Scout's 3rd rated 2016 power forward, but explained where that scholarship would come from.
The Bruins staff expressed to the Leaf party, sources said, that in order to make room for him at UCLA, that head Steve Alford
was willing to take his son, starting point guard Bryce Alford
, off scholarship and make him a walk-on for his senior year.
Bryce Alford averaged 15.4 points and 4.9 assists as a sophomore and it was unknown whether or not him moving to walk on status for his senior season was a serious consideration for the Bruins.
Scout will have more on UCLA's re-recruitment of Leaf as it becomes available.