UCLA coaches -- and all college basketball coaches -- are feverishly working the phones, calling prospects (within the alloted amount allowed by the NCAA) during August, trying to set up unofficial and official visits.
To date, UCLA has just one commitment, from Tyler Lamb, the 6-4 shooting guard from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, and, actually, have only offered a scholarship to a handful of other prospects.
And many of those offers are out to national guys that UCLA has very little chance of getting.
UCLA, of course, has offered Josh Smith, the 6-9 center from Kent (Wash.) Kentwood. Smith will visit UCLA on September 5th, the weekend of the San Diego State football game. The word is that UCLA will get Smith, and there's a very good chance he could verbally commit on his visit.
UCLA has offered Ray McCallum, the 6-1 point guard from Beverly Hills (Calif.) Detroit Country Day. UCLA is, according to sources, doing well with McCallum. The issue remains whether he'll opt to play for his father, Ray McCallum Sr., who is the head coach at the University of Detroit. But there are enough sources close to the situation that believe he'll choose to play at a higher level, and that UCLA is either the favorite, or among the small list of favorites for him. McCallum will probably visit UCLA officially the last weekend of September.
UCLA has then also offered the #1 point guard in the nation, Brandon Knight, the 6-3 prospect from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest. UCLA is a long shot for Knight, but he has told some sources that UCLA is among his top four and will get an official visit. We'll see if that comes to fruition.
There is a UCLA offer out to Harrison Barnes, the 6-6 small forward from Ames (Iowa) who is generally considered the #1 player in the country. The Bruins have very little chance of getting Barnes.
Jelan Kendrick, the 6-6 prospect from Atlanta (Georg.) Westlake, the #3-ranked small forward in the nation, has a UCLA offer. But the Bruins are a longshot.
UCLA has offered Tobias Harris, the 6-8 power forward from Dix Hills (New York) Half Hollow Hills West, who was one of the hottest commodities in the nation during July. Again, UCLA is a longshot.
One of the most talented players in the west, Terrence Jones, the 6-7 power forward from Portland (Ore.) Jefferson, has a UCLA offer. From what we've heard, UCLA isn't among Jones' favorites.
If UCLA gets Smith, to go along with Lamb, then its biggest priority is a point guard. After McCallum, there is Trevor Releford, the 5-11 prospect from Shawnee Mission (Kans.) Bishop Miege. Ben Howland and the UCLA coaching staff spent a great deal of time in July watching Releford, but his academics are questionable, so UCLA is unable to offer him a scholarship. Because of this, UCLA is not in Releford's top four. Here's a recent update on Releford.
UCLA has been recruiting Phil Pressey, the talented 5-8 point guard from Dallas (Tex.) Episcopal, but the word is that he's leaning heavily to Missouri, since his family is close with the Missouri head coach.
There's Vander Blue, the 6-3 combo guard from Madison (Wisc.) Memorial. Blue is thought to be a potential pro, with a pro-type point guard body and athleticism. He has said he intends to visit UCLA officially.
UCLA will also try to sign another wing, especially if it can't get a point guard with this class.
The local prospect that would probably be first on UCLA's list to offer would be Anthony Brown, the 6-6 small forward from Huntington Beach (Calif.) Ocean View. Scout.com recently did a recruiting update with Brown, and UCLA isn't mentioned too prominently. We've heard that, if UCLA offered Brown, the Bruins could move to the top of the list. But there's a time issue here; the longer UCLA waits on Brown the more he'll start leaning toward the schools that have offered him. We've heard that Anthony Brown will visit UCLA unofficially sometime in the next couple of days.
Probably the other most viable local option is Keala King, the 6-4 shooting guard from Compton (Calif.) Dominguez. Here's a recent recruiting update we did with King. Again, UCLA isn't mentioned since it hasn't offered. It's interesting that King says he might sign late, which could give UCLA time to see what happens with its point guard prospects.
Other possibilities are Trey Zeigler, the 6-4 shooting guard from Mount Pleasant (Mich.) High, and Bryce Jones, the 6-5 small forward from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. Zeigler is the son of former UCLA assistant and current head coach at Central Michigan, Ernie Zeigler, and it appears to be a longshot that UCLA would offer and that he would come. Jones was on UCLA's campus Monday, but he reportedly has poor academics and would struggle to get through UCLA admissions.