Probably the biggest news, as we've reported before, is the distinct possibility of some players currently at other programs transferring into UCLA. As we've also reported before, it might not be too long before we know who those transfers are.
UCLA is also still on Remi Barry, the 6-7 small forward from France who is a senior at Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro. Barry needs to make some progress in academic work in the next month or so to be academically eligible, and if he does, it's pretty certain UCLA will be pursuing him aggressively. Cal, Washington, ASU and St. John's are also on him.
UCLA's class, so far, is made up of post Josh Smith, shooting guard Tyler Lamb, JC point guard Lazeric Jones, and combo guard Matt Carlino. Carlino is officially part of the 2011 class but intends to get re-classified to enroll at UCLA this fall. He has yet to sign a NLI.
IF UCLA gets Barry and a couple of transfers it will fill the limit of 13 scholarships for next season.
Then, also, if everyone who is on scholarship for 2010-20111 remains on scholarship for 2011-2012, UCLA won't have a scholarship to give to the 2011 class. We have it on pretty good authority, however, that UCLA will probably still go out and recruit as if it had one or two available, and even take commitments, and then sort it out later.
We can also tell you that, if it all goes as suspected with the rest of the 2010 class and the transfers, UCLA's biggest priority in the 2011 class will still be point guard. Looking down the road, Jerime Anderson and Lazeric Jones will be seniors in 2011-2012, and it would be a good time to have a freshman point on the roster, rather than waiting to bring one in for 2012-2013 when he would be forced to start as in his first season.
As we've said before, however, the point guard situation in the west for 2011 – in fact, the talent pool at every position – is not very talented or deep.
We've maintained that the #1 point guard in the west for 2011 is Josiah Turner, the 6-2 prospect from Sacramento (Calif.) High and, while UCLA is involved in his recruitment, it doesn't seem like Turner would be a good "fit" for UCLA, for a number of reasons.
Recently, though, there is another player who is competing for the title of the #1 point guard in the west – Jahii Carson, the 5-11 prospect from Mesa (Ariz.) High. He originally committed early to Oregon State, but he has continued to develop and opened up his recruitment, and now has many programs from around the country on him. UCLA could have a tough time recruiting Carson, however, due to some of the influences around him.
UCLA is trying with Quinn Cook, the 5-11 point guard from Hyattsville (Maryland) DeMatha Catholic, who is the #31-ranked player in the nation. Cook has some ties to Southern California, but it's believed the Bruins are a long shot.
There is also Collin Woods, the 6-1 combo guard from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Horizon, who is probably the next best potential point guard prospect in the west. Right now he's more of a combo, and the UCLA staff will have to scout him through summer to see if he's elite high-major level.
Spencer Dinwiddie, the 6-3 prospect from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, is a kid with some upside, but he's still not good enough to be UCLA's level yet. Whether he jumps up to that level in the next 10 months will be something to watch. It would be ideal that he did since Dinwiddie is a UCLA fan and would almost certainly commit to UCLA if offered.
Austin Rivers, the 6-3 combo from Winter Park (Fla.) High, considered the #4 overall prospect in the nation for 2011, opened up his recruitment after being committed to Florida, and is now considering Duke and North Carolina, as well as UCLA, according to sources. Reportedly, Doc Rivers, his father and the head coach of the Boston Celtics, has been by UCLA when the Celtics were in town and indicated to the UCLA coaches that his son was interested in UCLA.
Hopefully there will be more point guard options for 2011 by summer.
Having had success in getting Lazeric Jones, UCLA very well might go back to the JC option in the next year's class to find a point guard.
You can expect UCLA to make Norman Powell, the 6-2 shooting guard from San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln, a top priority in the 2011 class. UCLA has been down to see him at his high school recently, and apparently there are some connections between new UCLA assistant Phil Mathews and the Powell family. It'd be good for UCLA to get on him hard before he's seen nationally this summer.
So, a point guard and probably Powell will almost certainly be the focus of UCLA's efforts in recruiting for 2011.
The rest of the recruiting list for 2011 is still vastly incomplete, for a number of reasons: 1) because UCLA has spent most of its time this spring still recruiting the 2011 class, 2) UCLA, very likely, won't have many to give to the 2011 class, and 3) the 2011 class in the west isn't very talented.
So, there will be an influx of new names that UCLA will be involved with for 2011 through the summer. A few guys we know of:
Kevin Bailey, 6-5 SF, Clovis (Calif.) East. He's not much known outside the west, but Bailey is a potentially elite prospect. He's a very good athlete, with a great body, and a developing skills (he keeps adding range to his jumpshot) who also shows the ability to be a very good defender. It's expected that he'll visit UCLA's campus sometime in the next few weeks on an unofficial visit.
Branden Dawson, 6-5 SF, Gary (Ind.) Lew Wallace. Dawson could be the best rebounder in the country for 2011. He came to UCLA's camp and has shown interest in the Bruins, so he's a non-west-coast recruit UCLA might legitimately have a shot at getting. UCLA has offered Dawson.
Norvel Pelle, 6-9 post, Los Angeles (Calif.) Price. He had to sit out last season due to his transfer, and it took a while for him to get back in the swing this spring, but he recently has been showing more of his ability. UCLA has offered Pelle, even though it's contingent on him improving academically.
UCLA's camp in late June should be a big factor in which select players UCLA will aggressively recruit for 2011.
A rundown of how UCLA is looking in the stellar 2012 class will be coming soon…