Jan. 13 -- UCLA has three commitments in 2017 but are on a number of other targets. Scout takes a look at who else the Bruins are pursuing in the class and where their recruitments stand...
Last week, Scout broke down how UCLA's committed players have performed over the course of the 2015-16 season.
This week we'll go over the Bruins' top 2017 targets, analyzing what kind of prospects they are at this stage of their development and what we know about their recruitments.
UCLA currently has three 2017 commitments in point guard Jaylen Hands, post Jalen Hill and small forward LiAngelo Ball. The staff's goal is to add two more players to join the group - one big guard and one post.
The following players all have UCLA offers and the Bruins would accept pledges from them should they want to commit.
Brown's stock has remained the same as a junior, as he's still one of 2017's top prospects and one of the most versatile players in high school basketball. In most systems, Brown will be able to play the one, two and three on both sides of the ball. He's just an okay shooter but has improved there and ultimately should be respectable at the next level. He plays hard, is a plus athlete and impacts the game as a defender, rebounder, passer and scorer.
A source close to the recruitment told Scout that UCLA's main competition will be Arizona
. Brown's sister plays basketball for KU. It isn't believed that Brown is close to a decision.
A skilled wing who will be able to play both the two and three offensively at the next level, O'Bannon has played well as a junior. He's a very good shooter who can knock down jumpers from both midrange and three off the catch and pull. O'Bannon isn't a huge threat to get to the basket in the halfcourt but will drive if the opportunity presents itself. He's going to be best as a big wing with good size and length who can knock down jumpers off the catch or with one and two dribble pull-ups.
O'Bannon recently told Scout that NC State
, Texas and UNLV
were recruiting him the hardest, while he's also hearing from Arizona, Cal and UCLA. Others involved, we're told, include Kansas, Oklahoma
. UCLA obviously has a strong connection given his father being a former national champion with the Bruins but at this point O'Bannon is believed to be pretty open and considering all suitors.
Trent is a skilled wing who will be able to play the two and three at the next level due to his scoring prowess. He's a strong kid who can really shoot the ball from both midrange and three. Trent is consistently in attack mode but isn't just a shooter, as he has a high feel for the game as well. He isn't a great athlete and may not have an extremely high ceiling, but there's every reason to think he's going to be a good college player.
The main contenders for Trent at this point are believed to be Duke, Kansas and Ohio State
. UCLA and Kentucky are amongst the other schools involved.
Bowen is a wing with good size and decent length who impacts the game in a number of ways offensively. He's a good shooter with range to three, but despite not having blow by speed is a crafty ball handler who picks his spots off the bounce to get open looks at the basket. Bowen has a high basketball IQ and is a smart passer for the position. He'll need to get stronger, but it's possible his athleticism improves as he does.
Kentucky and Michigan State are believed to be the teams to beat for Bowen, although Duke and UCLA are two of the several other programs recruiting him.
Always a consistently productive player, nothing has changed for Riley as a junior. Riley is an old school power forward who has a physical approach to the game. He's a strong kid with wide shoulders and can score muscling opponents around the basket or facing up. Riley is a good rebounder on both ends of the court due to his feel and motor. Not just a bruiser, Riley is a capable midrange shooter who can also really pass from the high post. He's not necessarily a super high upside guy, but there's every reason to think he's going to be a successful college player.
It's long been believed that UCLA is the team to beat for Riley. There are multiple schools which were involved early that stopped recruiting Riley, almost conceding him to the Bruins. Others, such as Connecticut
and NC State, have continued to pursue Riley. It's always possible that this recruitment changes and the fact that he hasn't committed yet is a surprise, but UCLA should still be considered the leader.
McCoy is cut from the same cloth as UCLA signee Ike Anigbogu
in that he's a defensive specialist with good size and athleticism. He's a very good shot blocker and defensive rebounder and is a tough kid who plays hard. He's raw offensively but has made some progress there as he's improved his mobility. McCoy's worst case scenario is as a defensive specialist at the next level, who could be more if his skill level improves.
With Anigbogu and Hill committed, this is probably a bit of a longshot for UCLA. Schools heavily involved include Arizona, California and Michigan State.
Washington is a somewhat undersized four with long arms who is a plus athlete. He can score around the basket or facing up thanks to his jumper. He plays hard and scores a lot of points on offensive putbacks. Defensively he does a nice job on the glass and his length makes him a deceptively good shot blocker.
A few weeks ago, Washington told Scout that Cal, Texas and UCLA were recruiting him the hardest. Others involved include Arizona, Florida
, Kentucky and Michigan State. It's believed that Washington will choose Kentucky if the Wildcats want him; if not it could be an open competition.
UCLA has offers out to national bigs such as Nick Richards
and Jeremiah Tilmon
, but those recruitments are considered to be longshots as of now. The Bruins are also evaluating regional players such as Jordan Schakel