In fact, the 2012 class could be UCLA's most important in many years. It's loaded with talent on the west coast, and UCLA should have three to five scholarships to give out to the class.
UCLA should be trying to hoard rides or open up as many as possible to accommodate it.
Here are the primary guys UCLA will be watching this July in the 2012 class.
Recruits with Scholarship Offers:
Shabazz Muhammad, 6-5 small forward, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. He could be the #1 talent in the 2012 class nationally, and the Bruins have a very good shot with him. If there was ever a guy the coaches should be "babysitting," that is – making sure they see every one of his games this July, Muhammad is the guy. It helps that Norman Powell, UCLA's top target in the 2011 class, is now playing with Muhammad on the Dream Vision AAU squad.
Brandon Ashley, 6-9 power forward, Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. He's long, athletic and talented, and will probably be among the top 25 in the nation in his class. UCLA has been recruiting him aggressively for a while, and they'll follow around the Oakland Soldiers, his AAU team, watching him play this month.
Xavier Johnson, 6-6 small forward, Temecula Chaparral. UCLA is leading for Johnson, and he very well could be an early commit to the Bruins. How he does in front of Howland and Co. in July could get UCLA to really push him to commit.
Jordan Tebbutt, 6-5 small forward, Tualatin (Ore.) High. Another wing from the west in the 2012 class that could be a top 25 national player, Tebbutt is a big, strong and skilled small forward. There's a good discussion on who might be the better prospect between Johnson and Tebbutt, but UCLA would probably take both – along with Muhammad – and pop some corks.
Grant Jerrett, 6-8 power forward, La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran. Very skilled post, he and Ashley are UCLA's two top baseline targets in this class – at least so far.
Recruits UCLA is Watching:
Tyrone Wallace, 6-2 point guard, Bakersfield (Calif.) High. He's probably the #1 point guard in the west for 2012. He has all the earmarks of a UCLA type of kid – a good student, from a good family, and he plays for the Pumps. He recently took an unofficial visit to UCLA, and, if he impresses Howland and Co. this July, an offer could be coming pretty quickly.
Richard Longrus, 6-6 small forward, Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. Longrus is an excellent prospect, and UCLA will see him quite a bit since he plays for the Oakland Soldiers, which also features Ashley, Jabari Brown, Kyle Wiltjer and Josiah Turner (even though we've heard Turner might have returned to the Pumps).
Robert Upshaw, 6-11 center, Fresno (Calif.) Edison. He's always been a huge kid, with potential, but recently he's vastly improved, in his mobility and skills. He's been to UCLA's camp the last two years and he plays for the Pumps' younger team. The Bruins would definitely have a good shot if they went on him, and the way he's developing that could happen – even by the end of July.
Ryan Wright, 6-5 small forward, Palmdale (Calif.) High. A very good athlete with a great body, Wright could have some of the best upside among all of the small forwards in the west, and that's saying quite a bit. He plays for the Pumps, and UCLA would have a very good shot at him.
Roscoe Allen, 6-7 power forward, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. A very skilled face-up four, with deceptive athleticism, Allen opened eyes this spring and is poised to have an impressive summer. He recently took an unofficial visit to UCLA, and he plays for the Pumps.
Victor Robbins, 6-4 small forward, Compton (Calif.) High. Another potentially elite wing, and a pure scorer, UCLA will be watching Robbins this July to see how he stacks up against the other wings in the west coast class.
Skylar Spencer, 6-7 power forward, Los Angeles Price. He continues to improve, and while he might be behind Ashley and Jerrett in the current pecking order, if he continues his rate of improvement he could definitely be at least as good.
Brendyn Taylor 6-0 point guard, Los Angeles View Park Prep. While he's still developing his point guard skills, Taylor has a chance to be among the few best point guards in the west.
Dalante Hoover, 5-11 point guard, San Diego (Calif.) Francis Parker. An athletic point, Hoover also has a chance to be among the best in the class at point guard in the west.
Two Other Prospects UCLA Will Definitely be Watching:
Eric Cooper, 6-2 point guard, La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran. Has a chance to be among the best in the country at his position for 2013. He's been on UCLA's campus for an unofficial visit.
Shaqquan Aaron, 6-4 wing, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Greg Hicks, who isn't one for over-hyping younger prospects, said Aaron could be the best he's seen among incoming high school freshmen in 10 years. He attended UCLA's camp, and received a lot of personal attention from Howland.